Changes in normal cells can cause them to grow uncontrollably. The mutations caused by the change of DNA of normal cells can affect the growth and division of cells. When the balance is broken, normal cells will not grow at the normal speed, die when they should and they become cancerous.
The body is made up of cells, which grow, divide and die in a controlled manner to make sure that each organ can function properly; however, changes in normal cells can cause them to grow uncontrollably. The mutations caused by the change of DNA of normal cells can affect the growth and division of cells. When the balance is broken, normal cells will not grow at the normal speed, die when they should and they become cancerous. There are many differences between healthy cells and cancerous cells.
Cell Reproduction – Cell reproduction is needed to replace the aged , damaged or destroyed cell population. Normal cells reproduce properly. Besides sex cells, all the cells of the body reproduce by mitosis and they will reproduce in a controlled manner and only reproduce cells needed. In contrast, cancer cells are capable to reproduce uncontrollably. Mutations of gene in chromosome affect the reproductive properties of the cells. Cancer cells can control their own growth signals and will not experience biological aging.
Cell Communication – Normal cells can communicate with other cells through chemical signals an so they will know when to reproduce and when to stop reproducing. Those signals are usually transmitted into a cell by specific proteins. But cancer cells lose the ability to communicate with other cells through chemical signals.
Cell Adhesion – Cells adhesion refers to the ability that allows cells to stick to the cell membranes of other cells thus helping cells to stay in their proper location. Normal cells have adhesion molecules that keep them stay in place. Cancer cells are lack of the adhesion molecules. What’s more, they have the ability to metastasize or spread to other areas of the body through the blood or lymph fluid.
Cell Specialization – Normal cells have the ability to differentiate or develop into specialized cells. For example, cells can develop into heart cells, brain cells, lung cells or any other cell of a specific type. Cancer cells are unspecialized and do not develop into cells of a specific type. Similar to stem cells, cancer cells proliferate or replicate many times, for long periods of time. Cancer cell proliferation is rapid and excessive as these cells spread throughout the body.
Cell Death – Normal cells have the ability to self destruct when they become damaged or diseased or when there are excessive number of cells. They undergo a self-programmed death called apoptosis in which cells break down and are disposed of by white blood cells. But mutations that occur in gene of cancerous cells will not send such self destruct signals. Cancer cells will continue to grow and reproduce without experience biological death.
Causes of Cancer – Generally speaking, Cancer are caused by abnormal functions of normal cells. Factors such as chemicals, radiation, ultraviolet light, and chromosome replication errors can contribute the abnormal development of normal cells by altering the shape of DNA or damaging the genetic information coded in DNA. The altered DNA will produces errors in DNA replication, as well as errors in protein synthesis which will influence cell growth, cell division, and cell aging. And then , normal cells will become cancer cells.
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This post was written by Wendy Kally
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