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Learn How Cancer Develops


Cancer is a medical condition characterized by uncontrolled multiplication of a group of cells leading to formation of a malignant tumor. At the genesis, the tumor remains located and causes no symptoms. But without early detection and treatment, it will gradually invade the organ in which it was born, altering its functioning, and possibly spreads to distant organ; this is called metastatic cancer.

The Difference between Healthy Cells and Cancer Cells

Healthy cells multiply in a controlled manner. They divide at normal interval and are not programmed to reproduce a number of times over without dying. When the division reaches its limit or when the cells are too old and present alterations that cannot be repaired, they die to be replaced by new healthy cells. This is a form of natural rejuvenation system that keeps living beings healthy.  


Development of Cancer 


Our body is equipped with a natural system which enables healthy cells to detect DNA damage and repair it as soon as possible. When an abnormality is found, cell division is momentarily stopped to allow cellular repair. If the damaged cells cannot be repaired, the cells trigger their own suicide, a biochemical event called apoptosis or programmed cell death


The normal functioning of the body is impacted when DNA damages affect the system responsible to this process. That is, if mutations occur in genes required for the detection of abnormalities or trigger the programmed cell suicide, the diseased cells will continue to divide. This is the first step in the transformation of a healthy cell into a cancer cell. 


Cancer arises from healthy and functional tissues that have become abnormal due to damage in their cell DNA. These mutations cause a disruption or malfunctioning, leading to inactivation of the systems that normally control cell division. The cells then become malignant and start proliferating uncontrollably (cancer). During the alterations, the patient feels nothing abnormal. The body, the immune system, usually fights the pathogenic attacks to prevent the disease form developing. If, unfortunately, it is too weak to overcome the cancer, it starts developing. This is why some researchers say “cancer is a disease of the immune system”.  

Cancer cells reproduce in an ‘out of control’ manner without normally dying.
With no proper treatment, these cells can divide indefinitely, thus leading to fetal complications. They have, in addition, the ability to induce the formation of blood vessels that will provide oxygen and nutrients necessary for their multiplication. As the disease progresses, some cancer cells will detach from their original site to migrate elsewhere in the body and lead to the formation of secondary tumors. At this stage, the cancer is advanced and survival becomes more difficult.  

How Damage to Cell DNA Occurs?

A variety of factors can cause DNA damage. For instance, exposure to mutagenic substances, natural or artificial, can lead to lesions in the DNA of our cells. This may be of industrial chemicals or else such as those found in foods (GMO), water (fluoride), tobacco smoke, alcohol, ionizing radiation (radioactivity), viruses (HPV), or bacteria ( Helicobacter pylori). The list is enormous; this is just a few.

Genetic Predisposition to Cancer 


This is a very controversial topic; some scientists believe in genetic predisposition to certain cancers, others believe the reason some cancers run in family is because lifestyle tends to be transmitted from one generation to another; therefore, genetic has nothing to do with cancer. Some people are born with one or more lesions already present in their genetic heritage, often transmitted by their parents. These people have a higher risk than the general population of developing cancer due to the fact the transformation of their cells has already begun at birth; what it is called genetic predisposition to cancer.  


In addition to these cancers above, it is found that mutations in either BRCA1 or BRCA2 can lead to hereditary breast–ovarian cancer syndromes (HBOC), which can cause the development of breast cancer and ovarian cancer. It is also believed that genetic prediction can increase the risk of individual to have male breast cancer, kidney cancer, or colon cancer. But even when it is the case, “only about 5% to 10% of all cancers result directly from gene defects (called mutations) inherited from a parent.” 







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