GLOSSARY: Carcinogenicity

Carcinogenicity, or a carcinogen, is any substance, radionuclide or radiation, that is an agent directly involved in causing cancer. This may be due to the ability to damage the genome or to the disruption of cellular metabolic processes. Several radioactive substances are considered carcinogens, but their carcinogenic activity is attributed to the radiation, for example gamma rays and alpha particles, which they emit. Carcinogenicity of radiation depends of the type of radiation, type of exposure, and penetration.