Unit 1 Fundamental Concepts 1-15 As discussed, individuals exposed to radiation may suffer from a full range of injuries from invisible blood change effects at low doses to superficial burns caused by beta particles, to serious radiation sickness at high doses. Whatever the injury, a medical doctor should treat the individual. By examining blood microscopically, a medical doctor can diagnose radiation exposure before other effects appear or after an exposure not great enough to cause more severe symptoms. Treatment depends upon the nature and seriousness of injury. Beta burns, for example, may be treated just like any other burn. Long-term Effects The probability of experiencing long-term effects increases as the level of exposure increases. However, at occupational exposure levels such as 0.5 R/year, the probability of these effects occurring to an individual is very small. Cancer One of the most serious delayed effects of exposure to nuclear radiation is the increased risk of cancer.
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