Cancer : An Intricate And Potentially Lethal Collaboration Of Genes Gone Awry

Cancer : An Intricate And Potentially Lethal Collaboration Of Genes Gone Awry

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Natalie Homan
Mrs. Luthman
English 9
20 November 2015

“Cancer is an intricate and potentially lethal collaboration of genes gone awry, of growth inhibitors gone missing, of hormones and epigenomes changing, and rogue cells breaking free” (Saporito, Bill, and Alice Park). It has been estimated that 39.6% of the population will be diagnosed with cancer at some time in their life. Also there is an estimate that 589,430 of the 1,658,370 people diagnosed with cancer in 2015 will die from it (Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program). There are many causes of cancer including genetics, tobacco, physical activity, UV exposure, radiation, and one 's environment.
A majority of cancer cases are caused from cells that get mutations, but other times they happen randomly as the cell divides and makes new cells. According to the American Cancer Society, “Some acquired mutations can be caused by things that we are exposed to in our environment, including cigarette smoke, radiation, hormones, and diet. Other mutations have no clear cause, and seem to occur randomly as the cells divide” (Genes and Cancer). Meaning that sometimes cancer just happens, and the patient has no control over it, and other times it is caused by something one can have some control over. For example one have no control over how their cells divide, but one does have control over something like tobacco smoke. People can also have gene variants, meaning the gene is different than normal, but it isn 't a mutation. Gene variants can indirectly cause cancer because they have the possibility to affect hormone levels, metabolism, estrogen, progesterone, and how our bodies break down toxins in cigarette smoke (Genes and Cancer). Many times cancer happens because of a cel...


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...ruses and infections that affect the genes inside cells and the body’s immune system can cause one to have a higher risk of cancer (Other Carcinogens). Meaning that just because someone contracts a virus or infection, doesn’t necessarily mean that they will get cancer. This just means they are at a higher risk because the virus or disease may have affected their genes, or given their gene a mutation. According to the American Cancer Society, “Alcohol is a known cause of cancer of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, liver, colon, and breast” (Other Carcinogens). Alcohol puts people at an increased risk of cancer, because alcohol affects the cell’s ability to repair damage to DNA. Alcohol damages the liver which in turn leads to inflammation. It also affects estrogen levels in one’s body, putting the person at an increased risk of getting cancer (Other Carcinogens).

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