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age and cumulative impact of carcinogens

Genetics as it applies to evolution, molecular biology, and medical aspects.

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age and cumulative impact of carcinogens

Postby wildfunguy » Thu Aug 16, 2012 6:17 pm

Will carcinogens have more of an impact over time if you were exposed at a younger age? I don't mean being exposed froma younger age, I'm talking about one exposure event that could occur at a young age or an old age. Perhaps some carcinogens never leave your system, so their damages accumulate more if they enter while you're young. Perhaps cancerous cells are more prone to oncogene activation because their cell division cycles have been messed up, or just because they divide more often, so an oncogene activated at a young age has more time to cause more oncogenes.


some rough definitions for underinformed readers:
carcinogens - things such as chemical toxins and radiation that tamper with the genes (DNA) in our cells to cause mutations; these mutations may result in oncogenes
oncogene - a mutated gene that causes a cell to divide more frequently, which is passed on during cell division; oncogenes can appear within an organism and spread (mutations aren't just for offspring).
cancer - a build up of various oncogenes in a part of the body
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Postby wildfunguy » Sat Aug 18, 2012 8:31 pm

That definition for carcinogen is wrong, I mistakenly defined "mutagen," not "carcinogen."
A carcinogen is just any cancer-causing agent. Many mutagens are carcinogens.
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