Thursday, January 13, 2011

Causes of Cancer – Important Facts to Know

General knowledge tells us how cancer works and how dangerous it is to our body. As prevention is the best way to avoid it, more cancer information is highly essential. Yet the essence of knowing these important facts is having them applied.

Cancer is a result of cells growing abnormally and uncontrollably, cells that do not die. Normal cells grow, divide and die. Apoptosis is the process of normal cells birth, growth and death. An important fact is when this process breaks down, cancer begins to occur. Cancer cells continue to grow and divide. They do not experience programmatic death. This causes a mass of abnormal cells that grow out of control.

Cancer can occur because of several reasons: genes, carcinogens and other factors.

Deoxyribo Nucleic Acid (DNA)

There are four Deoxyribo Nucleic Acid (DNA) genes which responsibly manage the cell division process. One are oncogenes which schedule the division of the cells; second are the tumor suppressor genes who tell cells when not to divide, a thing that keeps the cells in control as in contrast to cancer cells. It is an important fact that these genes work perfectly well when not intervened. The third DNA cells are the suicide genes control which apoptosis and advise the cell to kill itself when something goes wrong; and fourth-repair genes which instruct a cell to repair a damaged DNA.

In contrast, when a cells’ gene mutation stop these four DNA genes, then cancer occurs. Cancer inhibits the function of oncogene and tumor suppressor, resulting to uncontrollable cell growth. Likewise, it also makes the cell unable to correct DNA damage.

Cancer can also be the cause of a genetic situation that is inherited from the family members. A fault in a gene can make someone develop cancer in later life.


Another important fact to know that causes cancer are the carcinogens. DNA can also be damaged by substances called carcinogens. These substances promote and help cancer. Examples of these are arsenic, asbestos, tobacco, radiation like x-rays and gamma, the sun and compounds in car exhaust fumes. When the body is exposed to carcinogens, free radicals can be formed and these in turn steal electrons from the body’s other molecules. The free radicals damage the cells, affecting their ability to normally function.

Other factors

Age can also be a factor in developing cancer since as we age, cancer-causing mutations in the DNA shall increase. So are viruses such as human papilloma virus (which causes cervical cancer), hepatitis B (causes liver cancer), Epstein-Barr (causes childhood cancer), HIV and others which weaken the immune system.

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