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How do Genes Affect the Cancer Growth?

Cancer is considered to be one of the most common and life-threatening diseases in India. In majority of the cases, cancer derives from the combined result of genetic & external factors. While there are certain types of cancer which are heredity and can be carried forward by the family member either because of getting exposed to external factors like smoking or due to the genes getting muted and the abnormal genes are passed on from generations to generations.

Although, there is no one specific cause of cancer and there are multiple factors involved that lead to cancer.

A few of the risk factors that lead to cancer are:

  • Lifestyle factors like smoking, a high-fat diet, and work environment filled with toxic chemicals are considered as risk factors for cancer in adults.
  • Inheritance, genetics, family history undoubtedly plays a major role in some childhood cancers.
  • Exposure to certain viruses like the Epstein-Barr virus and HIV increases the risk of cancer during childhood.
  • Overexposure to environmental factors such as fertilizers and pesticides draws a straight line towards developing the risk of childhood cancer.
  • A genetic disorder is a case when the stem cells (in the bone marrow) get damaged and start reproducing more damaged cells i.e. cancer cells.
  • A high dose of chemotherapy and radiation when gets exposed to the children battling the early stage of cancer leads to changes in the immune system. Such a situation is referred to as secondary malignancy that often results during the treatment of different cancer.

In this article will have a detailed look into how genes affect cancer growth? There are several cases of cancer that result due to genetic alteration not necessarily inherited, it can take place by chance or due to environmental exposure. 3 major types of genes can affect the growth of the cell, they are as follows:

  1. Oncogenes – These are the genes that help in regulating the normal growth of the cells. It is still unknown which factor triggers these genes that they lose control over the normal cell growth and permit the abnormal cancer cells to instigate to grow.
  2. Tumor Suppressor Genes – These are the genes in a human body that holds the potential to identify the genetic mutations and helps in fixing them before the normal cell turns into a cancer cell. If by any chance the tumor suppressor genes stop working, it becomes difficult for a human body to detect mutations and before it’s too late to get it fixed, cancers start developing.

 

  1. DNA Repair Genes: These are the genes that help in recognizing the errors when the DNA is copied for the formation of a new cell. When the DNA does not match perfectly, these genes mend the mismatch and rectify the error. If by chance the DNA Repair Genes stop functioning properly, the errors in the DNA can be passed on to the new cells causing them to be damaged, ultimately resulting in mutation that leads to cancer.

Conclusion: If you are someone who belong the family having the history in cancer, you need to check with your oncologist and know in detail about the genetic cancer. This will certainly help you in proper planning and taking necessary precautions for the future.  

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