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December 31, 2019

Author: Masaharu Tsubokura

Editors: Akihiko Ozaki M.D., Yuki Senoo

139. Cancer benefits from both internal and external radiation therapies 

Today, surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy constitute a standard of cancer therapy. Radiation therapy is a procedure that exposes cancer cells to radiation, and it has been proved to be no less effective than surgery or chemotherapy.

We have previously explained that radiation exposure can be categorized into either external or internal radiation exposure. External radiation exposure occurs when your body is exposed to radiation from an external source (e.g., X-rays and CT scan). In contrast, internal radiation exposure occurs when your body is exposed to radiation from sources inside the body.

Similarly, radiation therapies are categorized corresponding to external and internal radiation exposures. The former is a method that delivers the radiation from an external source to cancer cells. In contrast, the latter is a method in which radiation...

December 27, 2019

Author: Masaharu Tsubokura

Editors: Akihiko Ozaki M.D., Yuki Senoo

137. Radiation therapy takes advantage of the difference in the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) damage repair speed between cancer cells and normal cells.

Today, surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy constitute the standard for cancer therapy. Radiation therapy is a procedure that exposes cancer cells to radiation, and it has been proved to be no less effective than surgery or chemotherapy is.

Similarly to surgery, radiation therapy is categorized as a local therapy, in which the procedure is directed only at cancer lesions, partly affecting their surrounding tissues. Although an appropriate radiation dose differs among cancer types based on their locations and susceptibility to radiation, it is normally fragmented from several times to several tens of times for a few minutes of radiation therapy. In a radiation therapy, such a short period is scheduled five days per week for several weeks in a row.

Why is radiation thera...

December 12, 2019

Author: Masaharu Tsubokura

Editors: Akihiko Ozaki M.D., Yuki Senoo

135. Radioactive fallout from nuclear weapon testings

In the past, radiation exposure occurred in several occasions, including the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during the World War II, atmospheric nuclear tests, and accidents at nuclear processing facilities and power plants.

After the Partial Test Ban Treaty, a treaty that prohibited all test detonations of nuclear weapons except for those conducted underground, was signed in 1968, no subsequent atmospheric nuclear tests have been undertaken by the government of the US, the former Soviet Union, and the United Kingdom. However, nuclear tests within the atmosphere were still conducted in some countries which refused to join the treaty, such as France and China.

In China, the Lopnor Experimental Site in the West Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region is particularly famous. A nuclear test was undertaken there on December 28th, 1966, and its fallout reached Japa...

December 8, 2019

Author: Masaharu Tsubokura

Editors: Akihiko Ozaki M.D., Yuki Senoo

133. Radiation exposure caused by nuclear weapon testings

In the past, radiation exposure occurred on several occasions, including during the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II, during atmospheric nuclear tests, and during accidents at nuclear processing facilities and nuclear power plants. In fact, Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant are not the only nuclear power plants that had accidents involving nuclear reactors.

After World War II, atomic bombs and hydrogen bomb tests were conducted several times all over the world, including in the US, the former Soviet Union, and the UK. The number of nuclear tests carried out worldwide in 1958 reached 116, and in 1987, when the conflict and tension between the East and West rose due to the Cuban crisis, the annual number of nuclear tests conducted around the world increased to 178.

At that time, most nuc...

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