© 2017 MRIC Global

Dr. Tsubokura's Radiation Lecture Vol.43

June 18, 2019

Author: Masaharu Tsubokura

Editors: Akihiko Ozaki M.D., Yuki Senoo

 

85. DNA can be restored after damage

Inside each cell in the human body, there is a blueprint that contains the information necessary for that cell to survive. As we previously explained, the original copy of this blueprint is called DNA.

 

Radiation exposure and other factors can cause DNA damage, but a cell can repair a certain amount of damage. However, when DNA damage is too severe to repair, the damaged cell's function is arrested, and it is discharged from the body.

 

The body's DNA-damage response can be compared to the repair of a damaged car: When a car breaks down, its owner will try their best to repair it, but they will scrap it when the damage is too severe to repair.

 

However, a problem arises when a car or a cell is not adequately repaired. In this case, even if the car or cell functions smoothly in normal use, any additional damage (even minor damage) can trigger a serious crash.

 

Similarly, if a cell with inadequately repaired DNA survives, it can lead to cancer in the long term.

 

 

86. Damaged cells rarely result in cancer

Inside each cell in the human body, there is a blueprint that contains the information necessary for that cell to survive. As we previously explained, the original copy of this blueprint is called DNA. A variety of factors can results in DMA damage, and when the repair of that damage is inadequate, the damaged cell could cause cancer in the long term.

 

However, the body has multiple defense mechanisms that can prevent the development of cancer, even when DNA is damaged.

 

First, when DNA is damaged, it is normally repaired. Furthermore, on the rare occasion when the repair system fails, the damaged cells usually stop working and are then discharged from the body.

 

Therefore, cancer only develops on extremely rare occasions when damaged cells evade these multiple defense mechanisms and start to proliferate.

 

This is why a high level of radiation exposure does not always result in cancer but does increase the chance of developing it in the future.

 

 

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The Japanese version of the manuscript was originally published in Fukushima Minyu, a local newspaper in Fukushima prefecture, Japan, on August 21st and 28th 2016 was reproduced for MRIC Global under the author's permission.

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