BIO final - Tom Marler Biology 110 Final Essay Dec 12 2009...

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Tom Marler Biology 110 Final Essay Dec. 12, 2009 Final Essay 31. Cancer is a condition that affects many of us. Describe and discuss cancer; include in your answer the definition of cancer, characteristics of cancer cells and how they differ from normal cells, causes including any genetic basis and how it spreads within the body. Cancer is a deadly disease that is defined as cells dividing uncontrollably. The body regulates this division by the cell cycle. This cycle is composed of specific stages that help regulate and direct the division of certain cells. Mitosis is a series of specific steps that aid in growth and repair of individual’s cell, it is composed of four different phases that serve as checkpoint. In some cases this process gets twisted because of cell mutation which produces a cell division overload resulting in tumors. These tumors can either be benign (non-cancer) or malignant (cancer). The reason why malignant tumors are so harmful is because they produce enzymes that are not normally produced in the body. These cells travel through the blood and lymph nodes starting new tumors’ to start throughout the body. The characteristic of cancer cell are they lack differentiation meaning they are not specialized and do not contribute to the function of a tissue they also have abnormal nuclei, cancer nuclei are enlarged and contain an abnormal number of chromosomes, they also do not undergo apoptosis. This is very different from normal cell because when they have DNA problems they undergo apoptosis. This is what makes cancer cells so deadly even though they are abnormal the immune system does not pick them up to start this process so they never die they just multiple. The reason cancer starts is because a malfunction takes place during the cell cycle. This malfunction is generated from unbalanced signals between phases in the cell cycle resulting in a cell division overload in the body.
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