Cancer is a disease that affects millions of people around the world. It starts with the abnormal growth of cells in the body. Our bodies are composed of billions of cells, each with its unique structure and function.
Normal cells grow and divide in a controlled way to make sure there is a balance of each type of cell in the body. However, when something goes wrong in this process, cells can grow and multiply too much and form a tumour.
The nucleus of a cell contains DNA, which acts as its control centre. Genes are sections of DNA that contain instructions on how the cell should function. Cancer begins when there are changes in the cell’s nucleus, specifically in the genes.
These changes can result in a missing gene, too many copies of a gene, or genes that are not in the right order. As a result, the cell does not know when to stop dividing, leading to the growth of a tumour.
There are various factors that can cause changes in the cell’s DNA. Some changes happen by chance, while others are caused by external factors such as tobacco smoke, alcohol, or sun exposure.
In rare cases, gene changes can be inherited, making a person more susceptible to cancer.
Blood cancers, such as leukemia, are different from other types of cancer. In leukemia, too many faulty white blood cells are produced, leading to an accumulation in the bloodstream.
Cancer is a disease that starts with changes in the cell’s nucleus, specifically in the genes. These changes can result in uncontrolled cell growth and the formation of a tumour.
There are various factors that can cause these changes, including chance, external factors, and inherited gene changes. Understanding the basic structure of cells and the factors that cause cancer is crucial in the fight against this disease.
For more information visit: Cancer Research UK