The rates of cancer of different types have varied through the years in survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The reason for this is that the bombs were the initiation of a series of mutations within the cells of the victims. Over time, these mutations will accumulate and may affect telomere length, or may involve oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes. Mutations to these different regulators of the cell cycle will result in the development of different types of cancer.
Work Step by Step
Cancer develops as the result of mutations in genes that help to regulate the cell cycle. These mutations accumulate which leads to uncontrolled growth and tumor development. Oncogenes spur the cell cycle and mutations in tumor suppressor genes allow the cell cycle to progress uninhibited. Radiation, as from the atomic bombs, can lead to an accumulation of changes in these factors which contribute to cancer development.