This Article is About
cancer
dna molecule
dna molecules
spiral staircase
cancer causing agents
cleaning chemicals
industrial chemicals
morse code
cigarette smoke
So Whats The Deal With Cancer?
Join 1000's of Authors at StreetArticles Today!

So Whats the Deal With Cancer?

The most striking feature of cancer is that agents in the environment can produce cancer simply by us interacting with them. Does this mean that cancer comes from the environment only? Most people are largely aware of the fact that cigarette smoke is a carcinogen, a cancer causing agent which interacts with lung tissue to produce rather extreme forms of lung cancer. Pollutants from factories, household cleaning chemicals, and even pesticides from agricultural crop dustings may contain carcinogens that increase the likelihood of producing cancer.

Indeed, environmental agents and industrial chemicals cause cancer, but the fact of the matter is that cancer happens inside the body; being a result of slight chemical modifications to our DNA. Our genes dictate our resistance to carcinogenic agents, making cancer a result of our own inherited traits interacting with external environmental factors.

So what exactly is DNA, and how does it act as the basic molecule of life? DNA molecules are shaped liked a spiral staircase, with a backbone made of sugars and phosphates. The metaphorical stairs of the DNA molecule are the bases; the genetic alphabet made of A, T, C, and G. These bases are simple chemicals that act as the “morse code” for DNA, allowing cells to create proteins from sequences of A’s, T’s, G’s, and C’s. The cell requires proteins for a huge variety of tasks, including structural support and enzymatic activity.

Proteins are essentially the “skeleton” of cells and act as the functional unit and building block for all living things. Cancer causing agents act on the DNA molecule itself, altering the sequence of bases. Since the bases act as the genetic code, changing the code will ultimately change the protein that is produced. This is the basis of cancer; small changes in DNA that ultimately result in altered cellular functions.

When cells have enough of their DNA altered, they may be able to alter certain cellular growth pathways. Cell growth is kept in check and is governed by specific genes that control the timing of when cells should mature and divide. Each cell has a specific set of genes that it employs for its function. For example, a heart cell needs to beat and a nerve cell needs to transmit electricity. Cells become cancerous when a genetic susceptibility to cancer causing agents allows the cell to essentially free itself from the other cells around it. Cancer cells become self-sufficient; that is they stop responding to signals from other cells and grow out of control. Cancer cells can even recruit blood vessels to increase the amount of blood supply that they receive!

There is no reason to despair over cancer simply because you live in a densely populated city, even though you may have certain genetic susceptibilities. Prevention is the best weapon against cancer. If you wish to avoid cancer, then avoid cancer causing agents – meaning don’t smoke and try to switch to a more organic lifestyle. Freedom from carcinogens will not prevent cancer entirely, as some people are cancer prone in certain tissues due to accumulations of heritable genetic mutations. The best defense against cancer is to have a good doctor who can spot the cancer before it gets out of control. Your doctor can save your life, but only if you let them. Remember to always get checked and never reject a biopsy; it could save your life!


Street Talk

Hi John, liked your article: well written and well explained. I know this is your first article, but it is a good idea to add some info to your your profile. Looking forward to your next article. Regards George

Reply
  about 7 years ago
You May Also Like
Truth Facts And Treatment For Cancer
What is cancer? Cancer happens when cells form together causing a growth or also known as a tumor. Growths form out of normal cells in the body. The body creates extra normal cells when the body needs them to solve certain body ailments and when the body does not need…
By: nathan1 in  Health and Fitness  >  Alternative   Oct 24, 2013  
1
  Likes: 1

Drugs And Cancer
Drugs Chemo has its merits If there are drugs that have a bad reputation, are those that are used in chemotherapy against cancer. Often patients fear their side effects as the disease that they should fight, if not more. The main drawback of the chemo is not to look anyone…
By: Antonio KAtende in  Cancer   Dec 27, 2011  
1
  Likes: 0

Cancer - It Only Lives Inside Of Us
All the things I said about what I would not do if I was diagnosed with cancer seemed to be just words in the breeze. I said that I would never do radiation no matter what. I said I would find another way, that I would find an alternative to…
By: Sister Kaite in  Health and Fitness  >  Diseases   Jun 24, 2012  
20
  Likes: 6

Cancer And the Pill
I recently watched an episode of Dr. Oz. It had three "doctors" including himself encouraging all women of all shapes, sizes, and ages to start taking the pill and continue to take it for 5 years. They said that the pill has been known to decrease our risk in ovarian,…
By: FreedoMarketing in  Womens Interests  >  Menopause HRT   Mar 15, 2012  
2
  Likes: 1

Alternate Cures for Cancer – Are These Being Suppressed By Big Business?
Being married to a cancer sufferer, any article that makes an appearances on the internet, always attracts my attention. The articles that are appearing more and more, are those concerned with cures, that the big pharmaceutical companies have no interest in. When Colon cancer struck my wife years ago, I…
By: Rob Ainslie in  Cancer   Feb 06, 2012  
7
  Likes: 2

Pancreatic Cancer
The following is a quote from U.S. Congressman Chris Van Hollen of Maryland in which he says, "Although awareness of cancer's prevalence in the United States improves and medical advances in the field abound, pancreatic cancer has largely been absent from the list of major success stories." It is a…
By: Joseph Primm in  Cancer   Mar 07, 2012  
0
  Likes: 1

Is Cancer Just A Number?
How many people do you know that have been touched by cancer? How many of you have been touched by cancer? The statistics are quite mind boggling when you look at them. As of January 2008, the National Cancer Institute estimated that there are nearly 12 million U.S. citizens living…
By: Joseph Primm in  Cancer   Mar 13, 2012  
2
  Likes: 2

Hidden Cancer
Although there is no definite cure for cancer in today's modern world of medicine and technology, the growing amount of information has been and will be very helpful to the health industry and the general public. One interesting and helpful information to know about for future reference is the behavior…
By: Claudia Lekhac in  Cancer   Jul 08, 2012  
0
  Likes: 0

My Experience With Cancer
During my life I have been very healthy. I guess I took it for granted. Never missed a school day or very rarely. When I was 15 years old, I started smoking. In my defence, we were very nieve in those days... smoking was grown up and sophicated. Oh well,…
By: Sharon Vacelli in  Cancer  >  Breast Cancer   Aug 20, 2012  
3
  Likes: 5

Nutural Cures for Cancer - Part III
Ya, Franz here again! I want to continue the discussion on nutritional therapy for cancer as this is the third part of my article on natural cures for cancer. In part two, I introduced the concept that certain nutrients would help your cells to commit cellular suicide, the way they…
By: Franz Williams in  Health and Fitness   Nov 23, 2011  
0
  Likes: 2

Must Know Facts About Cancer
So you have cancer and you want to know what to do. Why do some people do well and survive cancer, while others do not do so well? Here are some “basics” about exercise, diet, and attitude, which the entire cancer healing community agrees upon, as the “must know” facts…
By: Jeff Weiske in  Health and Fitness   Apr 20, 2013  
0
  Likes: 2

Can You Cure Cancer Yourself ?
How can I cure cancer myself? This will probably be seen as an article written by some “whack” who has had a dream. “Cancer can be cured” are the headlines screamed from bill boards and television screens. Surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy, tend to have an effect on the body cells…
By: Rob Ainslie in  Health and Fitness  >  Diseases   Feb 19, 2012  
10
  Likes: 5

Coffee Enemas to Treat Cancer
In a nutshell, a coffee enema is related to the procedure wherein the coffee is inserted into the anus. Moreover, the enema procedure has also been used for many years to treat illnesses like encopresis, constipation and other medical condition. Recently, it is being promoted as the coffee enemas to…
By: Sunny Walters in  Cancer   Jun 22, 2011  
1
  Likes: 3

Cancer What Is It? – Article 5 In A Series Of 10
There are some basic things you should know about cancer and your body so that you can develop the approach that works best for you. The majority of cancers are caused by environmental and/or preventable influences. There is a small percentage that is linked to genetics. That doesn’t mean that…
By: Steve Newton in  Cancer   Aug 18, 2012  
0
  Likes: 2

Cancer What Is It? – Article 4 In A Series Of 10
I think that this quote by Mark Twain is particularly relevant to the theme of this article: "The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don't want, drink what you don't like and do what you'd rather not." It appears that there is a lot of…
By: Steve Newton in  Cancer   Aug 18, 2012  
5
  Likes: 2

Article Views: 1832    Report this Article