2 What makes cells divide? Growth factors in the blood or produced by cells stimulate cells to divide.Certain genes in the cell then turn the cell "on" so that division can happen.After the cell has divided, other genes turn the cell "off" again.
3 What makes cells divide? The chain of events is as follows:Growth factors attach to the cell membrane. They turn "on" messenger substances within the cell.The messengers send signals to the nucleus of the cell.Genes in the nucleus turn "on" the division process.The DNA in the nucleus replicates (doubles).The cell divides.Genes in the nucleus turn the cell "off."
4 What makes cells divide? Changes (mutations) in the genes can affect their ability to turn the cells "on" or "off." This can cause uncontrolled cell growth and cancer.
5 How do tumors form?Normally, the body's cells grow and divide in an orderly way.New cells replace old and damaged cells, so that tissue can grow and heal itself.
6 How do tumors form?Sometimes cells act abnormally because of damaged genes in their nuclei.Such cells grow faster than those around them.They don't develop the features and activities of normal cells.
7 How do tumors form?Scientists believe that tumors begin as a single cell with genetic damage.The cell then begins replicating itself.The damage passes from one generation to the next with each cell division.The cells grow into a lump, or tumor.
8 Two Kinds of TumorsBenign, or non-cancerous, tumors do not spread beyond defined boundaries.
9 Two Kinds of TumorsMalignant, or cancerous, tumors have no boundaries.Their cells push between surrounding cells.Cells of malignant tumors can also spread, or metastasize, throughout the body.These cells break from the tumor and travel in the blood or lymph.They eventually get into surrounding tissues or other parts of the body.There they form secondary tumors.
10 Not all cancers form solid tumors. Leukemia is the general name used for cancers of the white blood cells or leukocytes.Leukemias do not form solid tumors.
11 What exactly is “Cancer”? Cancer is not a single disease. It is an overall term given to many different diseases.In all cancers:A cell's genes are damaged, or mutated. This causes uncontrolled cell division.Mutated cells can't do the things normal cells do.Plus, the mutated cells begin to crowd out healthy cells and steal nutrients from them.
12 What is a “Carcinogen”?Carcinogens are chemical, physical, or biological agents that damage a cell's DNA.This damage can lead to cancer.Certain carcinogens are linked to certain cancers.For example, tobacco is linked to lung cancer.Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is linked to skin cancer % of skin cancers are caused by too much exposure to the sun's UV rays.
15 Genes Control Cell Division Our body is made up of trillions of cells.Some cells, such as skin cells, divide quickly to replace those that die and are sloughed off the surface.Other cells, such as nerve cells, may never divide.There are two types of genes that control the rate at which cells divide. These two types of genes are the main targets of genetic damage.
16 Genes Control Cell Division Growth-promoting genesturn cells "on" and stimulate cell growth and division.Damage to a growth-promoting gene can cause it to remain turned on.This can lead to tumor formation.
17 Genes Control Cell Division Tumor suppressor genesturn cells "off" and block cell growth and division.A tumor may also form if a suppressor gene is damaged and fails to turn a cell off.
18 Genes Control Cell Division p53 GeneIn 1990, scientists found a tumor suppressor gene known as the p53 gene.This gene is the most common target for mutations in human cancers.It is found on chromosome 17.
19 P53 GeneMutations of p53 have been found in many different cancers including breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, and skin cancer.Scientists think that the p53 gene blocks replication of mutated DNA.So p53 is considered a "tumor suppressor gene."When DNA is damaged, the cell senses that damage and activates the p53 gene.
20 P53 GeneWhen p53 doesn't do its job, damaged DNA can replicate, and tumors may form.
21 The Two-Hit TheoryMost people are born with two working copies of the p53 gene in each cell.(One copy is on the chromosome 17 from the mother. The other is on the chromosome 17 from the father.)Cancer probably won't result if only one copy of p53 is damaged by a carcinogen, such as UV radiation.But if both copies are damaged, mutated DNA can replicate.Then cancer can result. This is called the "two-hit theory" of cancer development.Some p53 mutations can be inherited.