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What is cancer?

Cancer is a serious disease, more and more careful, but too often fatal.

But what precisely is this disease from a scientific perspective?

What is cancer?

Cancer is an abnormality, a disorder that affects the cells of our body.

Our body is composed of a multitude of cells, each specializing in a specific function, such as filter impurities from the blood (renal cell) or transport oxygen throughout the body (blood cells).

These cells have their life cycle: Every day, thousands of them die (known as apoptosis, that is to say, the programmed death of cells) and are replaced by new cells. The cells renew themselves by dividing.

We talk about cancer when a cell type multiply abnormally and anarchic.

There are over one hundred forms of cancer, including the severity varies. All parts of the body can be affected.

Understanding what is happening

The cell is the basic element of life (animal or plant).
Our organization consists of about 60 000 billion cells.
Every day, 200 billion cells die and are replaced by 200 billion new cells. Each new cell performs exactly the same function as the dead cell it replaces.

It is the genome of each cell that control its operation.

The genome is the genetic heritage of the cell covered in its core: it contains about 100 000 genes, which "give orders" to the cell (dividing, to specialize or die...). It allows the cell to live harmoniously with its environment (trade with neighboring cells) and play its role in the body.

The genome of the cancer cell is damaged: the orders he gives are incorrect and the cell can no longer function normally.

Cancer cells compared to normal cells, are characterized by:
  • Immortality: Unlike normal cells, where the number of divisions is limited, cancer cells reproduce indefinitely.
  • Independence: they do not respect the "laws" of the body and no longer to messages from their neighbors.
  • The inability to produce specialized cells.
  • Infiltration capacity and migration: whereas normal cells are linked together to communicate and stay in the tissue to which they belong, cancer cells are not related to their neighbors healthy and can therefore penetrate other tissues and leave their home area. Thus are formed metastases.
  • The ability to create a network of new blood vessels allowing them to receive nutrients and oxygen necessary for their growth.
By: Dr.Bouden

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