This report complements an earlier Advisory Group on Ionising Radiation (AGIR) report ‘Risk of Leukaemia and Related Malignancies following Radiation Exposure’, published in 2003.
The 2 reports taken together therefore provide a comprehensive description of the risks of cancer due to ionising radiation exposure in the UK. As with the other AGIR subgroups, the objective was to provide scientific assessment and interpretation, not to make recommendations relating to radiological protection policy - these are matters for which the HPA and its Board were then responsible.
The report is necessarily detailed and comprehensive. The introduction (chapter 1) gives basic information on ionising radiation, how it is measured and how risks to various parts of the body are assessed. Chapters 2 and 3 give the scientific detail, and chapter 4 focuses on the radiation risks to the UK population including methodological aspects of how risk is quantified, with examples of the risk for specific screening activities, such as mammography screening for breast cancer and CT scanning of the heart for ischaemic heart disease. Chapter 5 provides a brief overall summary with conclusions. A glossary is provided and details of the calculation of radiation risks are given in the appendices.