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A Journal on Surgery

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Chirurgia 2008 August;21(4):225-8

language: Italian

Tumori della pelle indotti dalle radiazioni: la nostra esperienza sulle patologie benigne trattate con radioterapia

Soma P. F., Scrimali L., Tomasello A. V., Siragò P.

Università degli Studi di Catania Unità Operativa Complessa di Chirurgia Plastica Azienda Ospedaliera Cannizzaro, Catania


The induction of malignant diseases is one of the most concerning late effects of ionizing radiation. Basal cell carcinomas are the most frequent tumours arising on chronic radiodermitis. Chronic sun exposure is considered to be the main etiologic factor for their development, but it does not explain all observed lesions. Acute, short and chronic exposure to low dose of radiation therapy has been reported as a possible causative factor. It seems that there is a direct relationship between the age of exposure and the latency period, as the latter was found to be much shorter in patients exposed at an early age. The risk of cancer induction by radiotherapy of benign diseases should be based on epidemiologic data directly derived from follow-up studies of patients who had been given radiotherapy for non-malignant diseases in the past. Literature review is suggesting recessive mutation of tumour-suppressor genes as the characteristic abnormality in radio-induced cancer. We report three cases of radio induced skin tumours, presented at our observation many years after exposure to ionizing radiation for non malignant disease. As therapeutic advances allow a longer survival time to these patients, it may be expected that these radiation induced basal cell carcinomas will be seen more frequently in the future.

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