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Report No.

Low-dose radiation risk and individual variation in radiation sensitivity in Fukushima

Fukunaga, Hisanori*; Yokoya, Akinari

After the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant accident in 2011 March, radiation doses have been measured for the residents by personal dosimeters and whole-body counters. In the current dose range, the potential radiation-induced risk could be small at the population level, however, should not be ignored. As suggested by NASA's reports on astronauts, the radiation sensitivity substantially varies depending on the individual genetic background. From the viewpoint of precision medicine, we note a possible issue: there might be the residents, including young children, with greater than average sensitivity because of their genetic background. Patients with DNA-damage-response defective disorders and the heterozygous carriers can be associated with the sensitivity as well as with cancer predisposition. We hereby propose that additional medical checkups for cancer, such as ultrasonography, gastrointestinal endoscopy, measurements of tumor markers in blood and urine, and genetic testing, should be combined in a balanced fashion to minimize their potential cancer risk in the future.



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