Cancer and how it begins.

Essay by coolbpsnHigh School, 12th gradeA, January 2003

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a.What is Cancer?

b.Conditions on which cancer begins.

c.Two Gene Classes


ii.Tumor Suppressor Genes

II.Signaling Systems go Wrong


i.Ras family

1.Ras proteins

ii.Myc family

III.Tumor Suppressors Stop Working

a.Malignant Cells





IV.The Clock is Struck

a.The Cell Cycle




How cancer develops is no longer a mystery. During the past two decades, researchers have made amazing progress in identifying the deepest bases of the process, those at the molecular level. These discoveries are forceful. They will survive the scrutiny of the future generations of researchers and for the form the foundation for revolutionary approaches to treatment. In reality, the term "cancer" refers to more than a hundred different forms of disease. Almost every tissue in the body can produce malignancies, some even produce several types.

Furthermore, each cancer has unique features. Still, the basic resources that produce these diverse tumors appear to be quite similar.

The thirty trillion cells of the normal, healthy body live in a complex inter-reliant condominium, regulating one another's production. Certainly normal cells reproduce only when instructed to do so by other cells in their area. Such constant collaboration ensures that each tissue maintains a size and style appropriate to the body's needs. In contrast, cancer cells violate this system. They become ignorant to the usual controls on production and follow their own internal agenda for reproduction. They also possess an even more dangerous property - the ability to migrate from the site where they began, taking over nearby tissues and forming masses at distant sites in body. Tumors composed of such malignant cells become more and more aggressive over time, and they become fatal when they disrupt the tissues...