How does cancer develop?
Cancer is known to be multifactorial, that is, there are many components that play an important role in a person developing it. Discover in detail how cancer develop.
“Cancer” is a term used to refer to a group of diseases characterized by rapid and uncontrolled proliferation of body cells. Have you ever wondered how cancer develops?
For cancer to develop, the cells that make up an organ must undergo changes in their genetic material or in the proteins derived from these genes. In turn, the origin of these changes can be inherited or sporadic (spontaneous onset).
There are substances with the ability to accelerate or trigger the processes. As a result, it will give some type of cancer in particular. These substances called carcinogens and are part of the risk factors for suffering from any of the forms of this disease.
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How does cancer develop? Its origin
Cancer begins in a cell. That cell, due to the alteration of its functions, escapes biologically imposed controls, dividing and growing uncontrollably in any part of the body. This process is completely linked to genes. With cancer being considered a group of genetic diseases.
Genes carry the necessary instructions to produce proteins that define the behavior of each cell in our body. There are proto-oncogenes and cancer suppressor genes.
- Proto-oncogenes are the genes responsible for stimulating cell division as a fundamental function of life. On them depends the development of the baby during pregnancy and wound healing.
- The suppressor genes, meanwhile, are responsible for counteracting those described above.
Any alteration of the balance between the functions of proto-oncogenes and cancer suppressor genes causes irregularities within the entire cellular control system.
This imbalance can result in increased production of a protein destined for cell growth. That, in turn, would cause the proliferation of an abnormal cell type.
Another cause can be translated into the production of a protein of abnormal characteristics that cannot repair the damage caused to a cell, affecting a particular organ.
Cancer is known to be multifactorial. There are many components that play an important role in a person developing it. Even so, science able to identify actors that increase the possibility (risk) of suffering at least one type of cancer. These actors are called risk factors.
We can understand a little more about the concept of risk factors. Taking the definition of the World Health Organization that defines them as:
” Any trait, characteristic or exposure of an individual that increases their likelihood of suffering a disease or injury.”
Seen in this way, risk factors may include exposure to chemicals, personal habits, or the occupation of a person. Family history (a direct relative who suffered from cancer) is usually considered as an important risk factor for so-called hereditary cancers.
Mechanisms to develop cancer
For the changes that lead to the involvement of the genes responsible for cancer to take place, several processes must occur. Among the processes to be noted are:
- Exposure to carcinogenic substances
- Spontaneous genetic errors during cell growth
- Hereditary genetic mutations
We could refer to the first two cases listed, in general, as sporadic cancers. These cancers have a particularity: the genetic alterations that star their origins depend on 80% of the environmental risk factors (infections, radiation, chemicals) to which people are exposed.
Familial Cancer Syndrome
In the case of hereditary genetic mutations, we could refer to them as family cancer syndrome. Familial cancer syndrome is a type of inherited disorder. In which there is an increased risk of certain types of cancer by family members.
Cancer is relatively common. It is estimated that, at least in the United States, one in three people suffer from some type of cancer. This means that it would not be unusual for more than one person in the same family to have cancer.
However, it should be noted that due to the fact that there is more than one case of cancer in a family. We are not necessarily talking about family cancer syndrome.
When many cases of cancer occur in a family. It is often due to the fact that members of the family have been exposed to a common risk factor, for example, smoking.
Then all this has been said, we could say that we talk about family cancer syndrome when:
- The same type of cancer appears in more than one family member
- Cancer appears at earlier ages than usual ( breast cancer in a 20-year-old woman)
- More than one type of cancer appears in the same person (a woman with breast and ovarian cancer)
- There is an onset of cancer in both even organs (both breasts, both ovaries, both kidneys)
- Cancer appears in multiple family generations.
The term cancer groups a series of diseases with one characteristic in common: the rapid and excessive proliferation of body cells. This, in turn, may be related to environmental factors, lifestyle and family history of the disease. Published By Healthzigzag.com
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