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How does One Develop Cancer?

By Edited Mar 27, 2016 1 0
A Comparison between Normal and Cancerous Cell
Credit: www.wpclipart.com

Cancer is a life threatening medical condition, no matter what type it is. Although, medical breakthroughs about this disease have increased, the risks of fatality are still lingering. This is because even with successful treatment, relapses may occur as long as cancer cells are present. So, how does one develop cancer? It is a widely known fact that it starts when abnormal cells spread and multiply. But, how does a normal cell become cancerous? This is the main goal of this article. To give you information about the stages of cancer development and how it eventually spreads and destroys your body.

Gene mutations

Cancer development starts with mutation. This happens when one’s DNA makeup has undergone alteration or destruction during cell mitosis. Once gene mutations occur, it will cause abnormalities for your cell’s nucleus.  Hence, this process will always involve your genes. This is probably why this medical condition is typically associated with hereditary diseases. However, keep in mind that there are other factors that can cause genetic mutations such as carcinogens present in your surroundings. As of today, the environment is full of various toxins that can trigger metamorphosis. Regardless of that fact, you don’t have to panic. Primarily because it would take 4 stages of mutations for cancer  to develop. Furthermore, your immune system can detect mutated cells and destroy them before they invade and destroy your body.

What if you have a family history of cancer? Even though you have a cancerous gene, it would still take a very long process of genetic mutations to develop this disease. However, you should still apply precautionary measures. This is because compared to those that don’t have a genetic predisposition of cancer, you have a higher risk of developing one.

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Cell reproduction and metastasis

The second stage of cancer development is cancer cell reproduction and finally metastasis. Like typical human cells, cancerous cells undergo mitosis. The major problem with this is that they multiply rapidly as long as food and oxygen are available. The only way to stop this mayhem is to kill or remove these abnormal cells in your body. Metastasis begin once these abnormal cells traverse into your bloodstream. This allows them to migrate into your organs. Hence, one develops a specific type of cancer.

During metastasis, malignant tumor formation takes place. Remember, there are two types of tumors, malignant and benign. Unlike malignant tumors that are lethal, most benign tumors are not detrimental. However, if it is left untreated, it can bring forth serious health problems. For that reason, if you notice any mass or lumps in your body, you have to consult your physician right away.


As you can notice above, cancer development would take years. However, once you’ve developed one, it would only take months before it destroys your body. That is why you have to update yourself about this specific disease to protect your body beforehand. There are several ways to protect yourself from this disease. First is by strengthening your immune system. Second is to update yourself about the different carcinogens present in your environment. As much as possible try to avoid direct and prolonged contact. The last and most important one is to live a healthy lifestyle. Keep in mind that, if you are conscious of your health and the different carcinogens in your surroundings, you can lower your risks of developing cancer. This disease may seem random for some. But, the truth is cancer development either starts when you neglect to care for your body or you’re continuously exposed to several carcinogens. 

With that being said, your best defense against this lethal disease is information and awareness. Without these two, you cannot avoid those chemicals that can trigger gene mutations. As a consequence, if you neglect to acquire sufficient and substantial information about cancer development, you have a higher risk of developing one. 



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  1. "How Genes Cause Cancer." Stanford Medicine . 8/11/2012 <Web >
  2. Theresa L. Pedersen "The Development of Cancer ." Extoxn Net. 8/11/2012 <Web >
  3. Bertram Katzung, Susan Masters, Anthony Trevor Basic and Clinical Pharmacology, 11th Edition. San Francisco: McGraw-Hill Companies, Incorporated, 2009.

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