Prostate cancer incidence among workers occupationally exposed to radiation at the Mayak Production Association

«Radiation and Risk», 2019, vol. 28, No. 4, pp.54-64

DOI: 10.21870/0131-3878-2019-28-4-54-64


Finashov L.V. – Research Assistant. Contacts: 19 Ozersk road, Ozersk, Chelyabinsk region, Russia, 456780. Tel.: +7 (35130) 7-45-76; e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
Kuznetsova I.S. – Senior Researcher, C. Sc., Biol.
Sokolnikov M.E. – Deputy Director, Head of Dep., MD

Southern Urals Biophysics Institute, FMBA, Ozersk.


At the present time there are some published research studies of the impact of ionizing radiation exposure on prostate cancer incidence and mortality. However, available information is controversial. Therefore it is necessary to continue research in order to collect new data. The main aim of this work is to study prostate cancer incidence among males exposed to radiation from different sources during their work at the Mayak Production Association (PA Mayak). The formed cohort consists of 16685 males employed at the Association from 1948 to 1982. For the period from 1948 to 31.12.2013 183 prostate cancer cases were registered in the cohort, however we consider 166 cases of primary prostate cancer. In 152 of 166 cases the diagnosis was confirmed morphologically, in 14 cases the diagnosis was based on the set of diagnostic criteria typical for prostate cancer. This study used the following rates: age-specific prostate cancer incidence rate, standardized prostate cancer incidence, standardized incidence ratio. Expected number of cases was estimated on the basis of age rates of the national statistics of the Russian Federation for the adult population (older than 20 years). Incidence rates and standardized incidence ratios were estimated for 3 periods of follow-up (1948-1992, 1993-2002, 2003-2013). We found that prostate cancer incidence among PA Mayak workers increased by 1.7-1.9 times as compared with the rates of the national statistics of the Russian Federation. Prostate cancer in males worked in reactor and radiochemical production facilities, manifested at the younger age as compared with the national statistics, this fact may be connected with the professional work and occupational exposure to ionizing radiation.

Key words
prostate cancer, male workers incidence, standardized incidence ratio, PA Mayak, cohort study, radiation, occupational exposure.


1. Beral V., Inskip H., Fraser P., Booth M., Coleman D., Rose G. Mortality of employees of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, 1946-1979. Br. Med. J., 1985, vol. 291, no. 6493, pp. 440-447.

2. Rooney C., Beral V., Maconochie N., Fraser P., Davies G. Case-control study of prostatic cancer in employees of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority. Br. Med. J., 1993, vol. 307, no. 6916, pp. 1391-1397.

3. Atkinson W.D., Law D.V., Bromley K.J., Inskip H.M. Mortality of employees of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, 1946-97. Occup. Environ. Med., 2004, vol. 61, no. 7, pp. 577-585.

4. IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans. Radiation. V. 100D. Lyon, France, 2012. 363 p.

5. Effects of Ionizing Radiation. UNSCEAR 2006 Report to the General Assembly, with Scientific Annexes. V. 1. Annex A. Epidemiological studies of radiation and cancer. New York, United Nations, 2008. 314 p. Available at: (Accessed 25.09.2018).

6. Hunter N., Kuznetsova I.S., Labutina E.V., Harrison J.D. Solid cancer incidence other than lung, liver and bone in Mayak workers: 1948-2004. Br. J. Cancer, 2013, vol. 109, no. 7, pp. 1989-1996.

7. Kuznetsova I.S., Labutina E.V., Hunter N. Radiation risks of leukemia, lymphoma and multiple myeloma incidence in the Mayak cohort: 1948-2004. PLoS ONE, 2016, vol. 11, no. 9, pp. 1-14. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0162710.

8. Koshurnikova N.A., Okatenko P.V., Shilnikova N.S., Kuznetsova I.S., Sokolnikov M.E. Medical conse-quences of occupational exposure (levels of cancer mortality among personnel of main departments of Mayak PA). Meditsina ekstremal'nykh situatsiy – Medicine of Extreme Situations, 2006, vol. 2 (16), pp. 5-14. (In Russian).

9. Koshurnikova N.A., Shilnikova N.S., Okatenko P.V., Kreslov V.V., Bolotnikova M.G., Sokolnikov M.E., Khokhriakov V.F., Suslova K.G., Vassilenko E.K., Romanov S.A. Characteristics of the cohort of workers at the Mayak nuclear complex. Radiat. Res., 1999, vol. 152, no. 4, pp. 352-363.

10. Novoselov V. N., Nosach YU. F., Entyakov B. N. Atomic heart of Russia. Chelyabinsk, Autograph, 2014, 528 p. Available at:,0/ (Accessed 25.09.2018). (In Russian).

11. Finashov L.V., Azizova T.V., Arkhipov N.I. Prostate cancer in occupationally exposed male cohort. Biology – science of XXI century: collection of theses of 17th international Puschino conference of young scientists (Puschino, April 21-26, 2013). Puschino, 2013, pp. 460-461. Available at: OF_YOUNG_SCIENTISTS_BIOLOGY_-_THE_SCIENCE_OF_THE_XXI_CENTURY_17-a_Mezdunarodnaa_Pusinskaa_skola-konferencia_molodyh_ucenyh_BIOLOGIA_-_NAUKA_XXI_VEKA_ (Accessed 25.09.2018). (In Russian).

12. Merkov A.M., Polyakov L.E. Sanitary statistics. Moscow, Medicine, 1974. 384 p. (In Russian).

13. Petrova G.V., Kaprin A.D., Gretsova O.P., Starinskiy V.V. Malignant neoplasms in the Russian Federation. Review of statistical information for 1993-2013. Eds.: RAS Corr.-Member, Prof. A.D. Kaprin, Prof. V.V. Starinsky. Moscow, FSI «MSCI named P.A. Gertzen», 2015. 511 p. (In Russian).

14. Breslow N., Day N. Statistical methods in cancer research. Volume II. The design and analysis of cohort studies. IARC Scientific publication 82. Lyon, IARC, 1987. 406 p.

15. Malignant neoplasms in the Russian Federation in 2008 (incidence and mortality). Eds.: V.I. Chissov, V.V. Starinsky, G.V. Petrova. Moscow, FSI «MSCI named P.A. Gertzen Rosmedtechnology», 2010. 256 p. (In Russian).

16. Wong M.C.S., Goggins W.B., Wang H.H.X., Fung F.D.H., Leung C., Wong S.Y.S., Ng C.F., Sung J.J.Y. Global incidence and mortality for prostate cancer: analysis of temporal patterns and trends in 36 coun-tries. Eur. Urol., 2016, vol. 70, no. 5, pp. 862-874.

17. Sivkov A.V., Gurbanov Sh.Sh., Keshishev N.G. Efremov G.D., Roshchin D.A. Non-prostatic sources of prostate specific antigen. Eksperimental'naya i klinicheskaya urologiya – Experimental and Clinical Urology, 2013, no. 3, pp. 35-39. (In Russian).

Full-text article (in Russian)