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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms


radiation poisoning  listen  (RAY-dee-AY-shun POY-zuh-ning)

  Serious illness caused by being exposed to high doses of certain types of radiation, usually over a short period of time. Symptoms of radiation poisoning usually occur right after exposure but they may happen over time, and they may come and go. Symptoms include nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, headache, dizziness, weakness, fatigue, bleeding, hair loss, swelling, itching, and redness of the skin, and other skin problems. Very large doses of radiation may cause death. Also called acute radiation sickness, acute radiation syndrome, radiation sickness, and radiation sickness syndrome.