In 1978 an epidemiologic study exploring the health consequences of nasopharyngeal radium irradiation among individuals treated for adenoid enlargement in Washington County, Maryland, found an excess risk of brain tumors and a deficit of female breast cancers. The study population included all persons first seen at the Washington County Clinic for the Prevention of Deafness in Children from 1940 to January 1, 1960. We will continue the follow-up of irradiated and nonirradiated patients to (1) assess the risk of brain tumors and other neoplasms of the head and neck developing during a 40- year period, (2) assess hormone-related disorders resulting from irradiation of the pituitary gland, and (3) compare cancer incidence and mortality rates among exposed and nonexposed groups. Of the 2135 persons eligible for this study, 93.5% have been traced, and 90% have replied to a mailed questionnaire that elicits information on demographic characteristics, reproductive and medical history, infertility, and other sources of radiation exposure. Information on cancer incidence and mortality is being obtained from the Washington County Cancer Registry and death certificate files from Washington County and the Social Security Administration. Statistical methods to be used in the data analysis include standardized mortality ratios, standardized cancer incidence ratios, and Kaplan-Meier survival analysis.
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