Notices
Results 1 to 2 of 2

Thread: What causes cancer and what causes it to spread?

  1. #1 What causes cancer and what causes it to spread? 
    The Doctor Quantime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    4,546
    What causes it and how does it spread is confusing to me. Cancer must be fairly recent in our evolutionary history.

    How it spreads is the most confusing seeing as it isnt a virus and it isn't as though the cells of cancer can inadvertently 'command' cells to mutate.

    PS Is cancer a genetic abnormality? Internalised and created health problem?


    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2 Re: What causes cancer and what causes it to spread? 
    gc
    gc is offline
    Forum Junior
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    210
    Quote Originally Posted by Quantime
    What causes it and how does it spread is confusing to me.
    There are signals that tell a cell when it is time to grow & divide and make new cells, and there are signals telling the cell not to divide. When those signals get messed up (from mutations) a cell can be mistakenly in grow & divide mode and grow uncontrollably. Normally when a cell is damaged it will commit suicide, but in cancer this process is also shut off. The immune system can also detect cancer cells, but in cancer the immune system is often prevented from detecting the cancer. So there are a few protections against cancer, but when all of these things go wrong, cancer is the result.
    These cancer cells can also spread to other parts of the body by a process known as metastasis.
    Cancer must be fairly recent in our evolutionary history.
    Cancer is found in most (all?) mammals. Why do you think it must be fairly recent in evolutionary history?
    How it spreads is the most confusing seeing as it isnt a virus and it isn't as though the cells of cancer can inadvertently 'command' cells to mutate.
    It's not that cancer cells tell other cells to mutate, cancer can begin with one cell that divides to form many new cancer cells.
    PS Is cancer a genetic abnormality? Internalised and created health problem?
    The abnormalities can be inherited making it much more likely for certain people to develop cancer. Mutations can also result from carcinogens like cigarette smoke.


    Reply With Quote  
     

Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •