What is cancer and how does it develop?

Cancer is the disease that most worries the world population. In fact, more than two hundred types are known, and each of them have characteristics that make them different from each other. Therefore, they are considered independent conditions, with different causes, evolution and treatments for each particular case.

On the other hand, each of them has a common denominator, and that is that cancer cells have multiplying capacity. Which means that they can spread through the body in an uncontrolled way affecting everything in their path.

Definition of cancer

The first thing you should know is that they are cells that constantly divide. They do this for the purpose of replacing those that are already dead or aged. In this way, they will be able to maintain the proper functioning and integrity of the organs.

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Said division process is regulated by various control mechanisms. Which will indicate to the cells when they must remain static and when they can divide. When damage occurs at the cellular level that cannot be remedied, the body initiates self-destruction. This will prevent the damage from being transmitted to other descendant cells.

On the other hand, when these mechanisms are altered in a certain cell, it and its heirs begin to divide uncontrollably. All this process over time generates nodules or tumors that harm the body of the person.

Cancer classification

The types are determined by the organ or tissue where they originate. For example: a colon cancer with metastases to the liver is recognized as colon cancer, and not as liver cancer. From a more detailed way you can know as many types, as there are patients. Each of these have their different cell and molecule alterations. However, they are synthetically grouped depending on the tissue where they start.


This is a guy who originates from epithelial cells. Specifically, they are breasts that line the surface of the glands, body structures and organs. Cases represent more than 80% of the total sum of cancers. These also include the most common ones such as lung, breast, pancreas, prostate, stomach, colon, etc.


This condition is formed from the so-called connective or connective tissues. From these cases are derived bones, grade tissues, muscles, and cartilage. In this sense, the most common are bone sarcomas.


This type starts in the bone marrowIt is the tissue responsible for the production of platelets, white and red blood cells. Changes in these cells lead to other conditions such as infections, blood clotting disorders, and anemia.


Its development comes from lymphatic tissue such as those existing in organs and lymph nodes.

Difference between normal and cancer cells

Cancer cells differ from normal cells in various ways, as the former grow uncontrollably and become invasive. Also, when determining carcinogens they are less specialized than normal ones. This means that normal cells mature into different cell types with specific functions, while cancerous cells do not.

In relation to carcinogens, it is possible that they ignore the signs, stating that they stopped dividing. As well as, they can indicate that a process that is identified as apoptosis or programmed cell death begins. In fact, they often use the body to rid itself of cells that are considered unnecessary.

On the other hand, cancer cells frequently invade the immune system, tissues, organs, and specialized cells. All of these protect the body against disease and infection. Although the immune system should eliminate these abnormal or damaged cells, sometimes they hide in the body.

What are the causes?

To understand this disease well. It is essential to be aware of the factors that trigger it. In that sense, genetic changes are what contribute to the damage of the three main types of genes. Among which are DNA repair genes, proto-oncogenes, and tumor suppressor genes.

With regard to proto-oncogenes, these are dedicated to development and division at the cellular level. However, the moment they are altered or activated more than usual, they can become oncogenes. Because when this happens they indicate that cells survive and grow, even when they should not.

Suppressor genes are those that are dedicated to keeping cell division and growth in check. When there are alterations in these cells, they lead to these types of tumors dividing uncontrollably. While DNA repair genes are those dedicated to fixing a DNA that is wrong. For example: it happens when cells with certain mutations tend to generate additional transformations of other types of genes.

Spread of cancer

The biggest fear is when it spreads throughout the body. In this sense, when it is performed this process is known as metastasis. To explain it a little better, it is that cancer tumors spread in other areas of the body.

Metastatic cancer has the same cancer cell type and name as the primary cancer. This means that when breast tumors are passed to the lungs, it is still called breast cancer. When viewed under the microscope, they almost always look the same as the original cancer cells. Also, primary and metastatic cells have similar molecular characteristics such as the presence of certain changes in chromosomes.

Treatments can help people with this condition extend their lives. Nevertheless, the main objective of these is to alleviate the symptoms of the disease and control accelerated growth. These tumors often cause serious damage to the functionality of the body and the entire organism. Most people who do not survive cancer are due to the fact that their type of disease is metastatic.

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