Stochastic effects occur by chance and can be compared to deterministic effects which result in a direct effect.
Cancer induction as a result of exposure to radiation occurs in a stochastic manner: there is no threshold point and risk increases in a linear-quadratic fashion with dose. This is known as the linear-quadratic no threshold theory. Although the risk increases with dose, the severity of the effects do not; the patient will either develop cancer or they will not.
- Farr's Physics for Medical Imaging (2nd edition): ISBN 0702028441
- Physics for diagnostic radiology (Dendy, Heaton): ISBN 0750305916