, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 209-214

The Semipalatinsk nuclear test site: a first analysis of solid cancer incidence (selected sites) due to test-related radiation

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Abstract

Since 1956, cancer incidences have been analysed in several rayons of the Semipalatinsk oblast, with cross-sectional analyses being conducted every 5 years. Data on different tumor localizations were recorded within a heavily contaminated so-called main area of nine villages (estimated average effective equivalent dose about 2000 mSv) and a so-called control area (estimated average effective equivalent dose about 70 mSv), each including approximately 10 000 persons. Up to 1970, the excess cancer incidence in the exposed villages was observed to have increased; after 1970, a decrease was noted, followed by a second increase in the late 1980s. The main sites of excess cancer included the esophagus, stomach, and liver. Up to 1970, the esophagus cancer incidence was predominant, but it decreased thereafter, while the incidence of stomach and liver cancers increased. The second peak of excess cancer rates was mainly due to lung, breast, and thyroid carcinomas.

Received: 13 July 1997 / Accepted in revised form: 20 April 1998