Dr. Tsubokura's Radiation Lecture Vol.23

Author: Masaharu Tsubokura

Editors: Akihiko Ozaki M.D., Yuki Senoo

45. Healthy lifestyle is important in cancer prevention

Let’s say that you have been diagnosed with cancer after being exposed to radiation. It is very natural to question whether the radiation exposure was the cause of your cancer.

However, the appearance of cancer caused by radiation is not different from that of cancer caused by other reasons, and it is impossible to identify whether radiation exposure is the primary cause of your disease.

Cancer develops due to several reasons. When the health effects of radiation exposure in a specific person appears to be significantly higher than other potential cancer causes, we can presume that radiation exposure may be a predominant cause of his or her cancer. However, in most cases, it is impossible to identify the primary cause of cancer.

As the radiation exposure measured from people in Fukushima Prefecture has maintained a very low level improvements in their daily routine are crucial to prevent cancer development.

Although it may sound clich?, eliminating bad habits and achieving good mental and physical health conditions play important roles in cancer management and prevention.

46. Thyroid glands activate your physical functions

The term "thyroid gland" often appears in arguments regarding the health effects of radiation exposure.

Well, what is a thyroid gland?

A thyroid gland is an organ shaped like a butterfly located on the front side of the neck, just below the Adam's apple. It's a small organ that weighs less than 20 grams. It produces the "thyroid hormone," which is an essential substance for our body. The thyroid hormone is composed of "iodine" contained in our everyday meals, and it activates our body to function and enhances metabolism.

Despite its key role in our body’s metabolism, an excessive amount of the thyroid hormone can be harmful. Therefore, our brain strictly regulates its levels inside our body. When the thyroid hormone exceeds a certain level (e.g., Graves' disease), it can cause the condition called hypermetabolism and will result in palpitation, shortness of breath, and fatigue.

Conversely, not having enough of the thyroid hormone (e.g., Hashimoto disease) can lead to depression, swelling, loss of energy, and shivering. The thyroid gland is an essential organ, and our body cannot live without it.

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The Japanese version of the manuscript was originally published in Fukushima Minyu, a local newspaper in Fukushima prefecture, Japan, on October 18th ,25th 2015, and was reproduced for MRIC Global under the author's permission.

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