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USRT Health Study
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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Who is in the study?
  2. I am no longer employed as a radiologic technologist. Should I still be in the study, and complete any additional questionnaires I receive?
  3. I was certified as a radiologic technologist, but did not work in the field or worked a very short time. Should I be in the study?
  4. There are several radiologic technologists at my workplace who are not in the study. How can they join?
  5. How can I obtain more detailed results of the studies to-date?
  6. I was just diagnosed with cancer. Was this cancer caused by working as a radiologic technologist?
  7. Are additional questionnaires planned and when?
  8. I am a male and a large percentage of the study participants are female. Should I continue to participate, especially if many of the analyses focus on breast cancer?
  9. How can I be sure my participation is confidential?
  10. I have recently moved or plan to move shortly. Do you want my new address?
  11. My relative who was participating in the study has died or is too ill to complete the survey. Do you need to know that information?
  12. How can I have my name removed from the mailing list for the U.S. Radiologic Technologists Study?


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1. Who is in the study?

The study population includes 146,022 current and former radiologic technologists, certified by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists between 1926 and 1982. The study includes 106,958 women and 39,064 men


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2. I am no longer employed as a radiologic technologist. Should I still be in the study, and complete any additional questionnaires I receive?

Yes. By continuing to participate and completing the periodic questionnaires for the study, you are providing valuable health updates that help us assess health effects that may not show up until later in life. The continued follow-up of your health and lifestyle factors is crucial in evaluating whether health effects may be related to low dose radiation exposure. The information you provide will be used in future analyses.


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3. I was certified as a radiologic technologist, but did not work in the field or worked a very short time. Should I be in the study?

Yes. Your continued participation is valuable to the study. In order to evaluate the risks from various doses, a non-exposed or extremely-low-dose-exposed group is needed for comparison purposes. Apart from the exposure of interest, this latter group should be as similar as possible to the exposed groups. Thus, your participation is vital!


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4. There are several radiologic technologists at my workplace who are not in the study. How can they join?

Many younger radiologic technologists have expressed a desire to participate in the study. We appreciate their interest; however, the aim of the study is to evaluate the long-term effects of low-dose, long-term radiation exposure. Therefore, we must follow the same study participants for many years. Of course, radiologic technologists who are not in the study will certainly benefit by what is learned.


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5. How can I obtain more detailed results of the studies to-date?

Abstracts from the published research articles to-date appear on this website. These articles are also available in medical school libraries, and on line through PUBMED and other medical library database resources, and a link to PUBMED is provided for each publication. If you are unable to obtain a copy of a publication through PUBMED, there is also a link for you to request that a copy be emailed to you.


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6. I was just diagnosed with cancer. Was this cancer caused by working as a radiologic technologist?

Like most cancers, the cancers potentially associated with working as a radiologic technologist have a number of causes. A study like the USRT study can determine if groups of people are at a higher risk from an exposure, but we cannot determine the cause of a cancer for a specific person If you have concerns or questions about your health, we encourage you discuss these matters with your personal physician.


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7. Are additional questionnaires planned and when?

Yes. Long-term follow-up is crucial in this study because many of cancers we are investigating occur later in life. The exact timeline for additional surveys will depend upon the study priorities and funding. We will continue to update this website and send periodic newsletters to keep you informed of our progress and study activities. To ensure that you continue to receive these communications and any future surveys, please let us know when your name or address changes by calling our study office at the University of Minnesota, at 612-625-1151.


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8. I am a male and a large percentage of the study participants are female. Should I continue to participate, especially if many of the analyses focus on breast cancer?

Yes. While this study is unique in having such a large percentage of women and provides the opportunity to study female cancers, such as those of the breast and ovary, we are also investigating other health outcomes that affect both men and women, such as skin cancer, cardiovascular disease, cataracts, and thyroid nodules, plus cancers that affect only men, such as testicular cancer.


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9. How can I be sure my participation is confidential?

Protecting your confidentiality is of utmost concern to us. Your name and the information you provide is for the sole purpose of this research study. Questionnaire data and biological samples are stored and analyzed using only study identifiers, NOT names or other personal identifiers.

In accordance with the provisions of section 301(d) of the Public Health Service Act 42 U.S.C. 241(d), the National Cancer Institute has obtained a Certificate of Confidentiality under the authority of the Secretary of Health and Human Services. This certificate:

  • ensures that the researchers on this study cannot be forced to disclose any information about you that we collect as part of the USRT surveys and related follow-up,
  • protects against involuntary release of information about you collected during the course of this study, although such information can be released if you or your guardian requests it in writing, and
  • the researchers involved in this project cannot be forced to disclose your identity or any information about you collected in this study in any legal proceedings at the Federal, State, or local level, regardless of whether they are criminal, administrative, or legislative proceedings.

However, the Certificate does not prevent release of information by researchers to DHHS as required for program evaluation or audits of research records or to the FDA as required under the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 301 et seq).


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10. I have recently moved or plan to move shortly. Do you want my new address?

Yes. It is important that we be able to contact you. Sometimes we would like to obtain additional information, and certainly we want to send you updates about the study. If you move or change your name, you may call our study office at 800-447-6466 (toll-free), or write to us at:

U.S. Radiologic Technologists Study
University of Minnesota MMC 807
420 Delaware Street S.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55455


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11. My relative who was participating in the study has died or is too ill to complete the survey. Do you need to know that information?

Yes, please call the study office at 1-800-447-6466 if you are receiving study mail for someone who has died or is otherwise unable to respond to the survey. We will update our records and remove the person from future mailings for the study.


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12. How can I have my name removed from the mailing list for the U.S. Radiologic Technologists Study?

We appreciate your past participation in the USRT Study and respect your right to choose whether or not to continue participating. If you prefer not to participate in future efforts, please contact the study office at 1-800-447-6466 to request that your name be removed from the mailing list.

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