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Breast Cancer - Research Paper Example

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“Breast Cancer” Introduction Cancer is known as malignant neoplasm, the hallmark characteristic involves uncontrolled proliferation of cells. Under normal conditions cells grow, divide and die, but in a genetic defect called mutation occur cancer cells leading to the formation of an abnormal DNA…
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Breast Cancer

The Genesis of a Cancer Cell A normal cell turns into a cancer cell because of one or more mutations in its DNA which can be inherited or acquired. Mutation is sudden abrupt changes that occur in the genetic material i.e. the DNA of the cell. This genetic material is facilitated by various agents called mutagens. Mutagens can be either physical agents such as UV radiations, X-rays etc. or they could be some chemical agents which are capable of producing changes in the cell by reacting with cellular macromolecules. These chemical agents form bond with the cellular macromolecules, thereby alter their normal structures. If they combine with the genetic material, the peptide formation is affected. Thus, these mutagenic agents affect the normal well being of the cell and when such a defective cell replicates the cellular modification is also passed on. These cellular alterations may lead to cancer, where the carcinogenic agents (cancer causing) are capable of altering the cell division leading to the uncontrolled proliferation of the cell (Alberts, 2007; Chemical Carcinogens). ...
These epigenetic factors do not produce cancer by themselves but enhances the likelihood of genetic mutation(s) resulting in cancer (Katzang et al., 2009). These genetic changes are categorized as - A. The activation of proto-oncogenes to oncogenes: Proto-oncogenes are the normal genes present in the cells and are responsible for controlling cell division, cell differentiation and apoptosis. A triggering factor such as a virus or exposure to any carcinogen brings malignant changes in the cell. B. The inactivation of tumor suppressor genes: A cell has the mechanism to protect itself from uncontrolled proliferation and tumor formation due to expression of genes called tumor suppressor genes. These genes possess the ability to suppress malignant changes and are also referred as antioncogenes. Mutation in proto-oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes results in the proliferation of tumor. Thus, a loss of function of tumor suppressor genes can be the critical event in carcinogenesis (Rang et al., 2007; Katzang et al., 2009). More than 30 tumor suppressor genes as well as more than 100 dominant oncogenes have been found to be associated with various types of cancers (Rang et al., 2007). Characteristics of Cancer cells The genetic basis of cancer has been revealed through numerous animal models. The Cancer Genome Atlas aims at methodically differentiating the configurational source of cancer, through recognition of the genomic mutations linked with every cancer form. A corresponding progress and description forms the basis of understanding growth and external appearance of the cancer or tumor called the phenotype of the cancer, is essential for ... Read More
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