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an emission of a nucleus of high kinetic energy from the nucleus of an atom undergoing radioactive decay or fission.
radiationThe combined processes of emission, transmission and absorption of highly energetic waves and particles on the electromagnetic spectrum treatment to kill cancer cells. See Acute radiation injury, Alpha radiation, Background radiation, Chemoradiation, Coherent radiation, Corpuscular radiation, Definitive radiation, Electromagnetic radiation, External radiation, Gamma radiation, Grenz radiation, Implant radiation, Internal radiation, Ionizing radiation, Non-ionizing radiation, Remnant radiation, Scattered radiation, Synchrotron radiation, Total body irradiation Clinical practice The direct, band-like extension of a sensation, in particular of pain, from a point of origin to another region of the body. Cf Referred pain Oncology The administration of ionizing radiation to kill malignant tumor cells. See Radiation fibrosis, Radiation therapy.
Alpha radiation 2 protons and 2 neutrons, eg plutonium, radon; α radiation travels 15 cm in air and is stopped by a piece of paper; proven role in soft tissue malignancy–see Radium Dial company, relationship with epithelial malignancy is uncertain; it is present in cigarette smoke and may have an additive effect to the known carcinogenic effect of tar; emitted by radium, thorium, uranium.
Beta radiation Electrons, eg strontium-90, tritium–3H; β radiation travels at the speed of light, is stopped by wood and thin metals and is carcinogenic to skin
Gamma radiation Gamma photon A quantum of electromagnetic radiation of ≤ 1 nm, which is generated by unstable nuclei eg 60Co; γ radiation is stopped by several feet of heavy concrete or 10-40 cm of lead and is linked to cancer, inducing mutations at the glycophorin A locus in survivors of atomic blasts; 183/105 excess deaths in survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki blasts, with a 13-fold ↑ in non-lymphocytic leukemia–peaking at 6 yrs post-blast, thyroid nodules and tumors–peaking at 15-20 years post-blast and multiple myeloma 6-fold ↑–peaking 30 yrs post-blast