Do you know how cancer starts?
Cells of cancer have gene mutations that turn a cell to a cancer cell from a normal cell. Such gene mutations may evolve over time and become older, or if we are concerned about something that affects our genes, like smoking for tobacco, alcohol or ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. This gene mutation may develop over time.
Blood and cancer modifications
In cells, all cancers start. More than a hundred million cells are in our bodies. Cancer starts with changes in one cell or in a small cell group.
Typically, every form of the cell is just the right number. Cells produce signals that track the divisions between cells and how often. If one of these signals is defective or missing, cells will begin to grow and develop and to multiply and form a lump called a tumour.
Cancer starts in a primary tumour. Some forms of cancer, called leukaemia, start from blood cells. It’s not a solid tumour. Cancer cells then build up in the blood, and the bone marrow.
To start cancer, certain changes occur inside the genes of a cell or a group of cells.
Cell division and chromosomes
Different cell types in the body perform different tasks. Though basically they are the same.
The control centre called a nucleus resides in all cells. Chromosomes composed of thousands of genes are found within the nucleus. Genes contain long strings of DNA, which are encoded signals telling the cell how to act.
Each gene is instructed to make something for the cell. This may be a protein or another form of molecule known as RNA. Cell regulation, collectively, proteins and RNA.
- what sort of cell it will be
- what it does
- when it divides
- when it dies
Modification of the genes in cells
Genes ensure proper, regulated creation of cells and the output of copies (reproduction) and to maintain a balanced body.
Often a gene shift happens when a cell breaks up. It’s a Mutation. That means the damage or loss of a gene or copy is two times.
When a cell divides, mutation may occur by chance. Some mutations mean the cell doesn’t understand the instructions anymore. It may begin to grow out of control. Approximately 6 different mutations must be made before a normal cell becomes a cancer cell.
Mutations in particular genes may mean that:
- a cell starts making too many proteins that trigger a cell to divide
- a cell stops making proteins that normally tell a cell to stop dividing
- abnormal proteins may be produced that work differently to normal
The 1 minute video shows how damage to the genes and chromosomes can make cells keep dividing.
The division, development and formation of a tumor can take several years for a damaged cell to produce symptoms or to appear in a scan.
How mutations occurs?
When a cell divides, mutation may occur by chance. The cycles of life within the cell may also trigger them. Or things from outside the body, including cigarette smoke chemicals. And some people can inherit defects in genes that increase their likelihood of developing cancer.
Every day, some genes are damaged and cell repair is very good. But damage can increase over time. And once the cells begin to develop too quickly, more mutations can be detected, and the damaged genes less likely to be repaired.
Do you know how cancer starts?