Cancer Development Essay

1323 Words 6 Pages
Cancer development
Cancer is a global epidemic. It affects the elder and the younger, the ugly and the beautiful, and the poor and the rich. According to the World Health Organization, there are 8.2 million cancer-related deaths in 2012. Cancer accounts for more deaths worldwide than other infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. It is also estimated that 21.4 million new cancer cases will be diagnosed in 2030. Cancer comes to be a global issue and an increasing public health problem in developed, developing and undeveloped countries.
Cancer is such a common disease that, to no one’s surprise, many families have at least a few members who have cancer. Sometimes, it seems like some particular types of cancer occur
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The most common cause of cancer is acquired genetic mutations. Acquired mutations occur from damages to genes for a long period of time, and they are not passed down from generation to generation. For example, exposure to ultraviolet radiation from sunlight, abuse of tobacco from smoking, and infection of viruses or bacteria can cause genetic damages and mutations. In other words, a cancer that occurs in people who do not have a family history of that cancer or without identifiable inherited genes involved, but develops as a result of environmental factors (carcinogens) that led to uncontrolled growth belongs to acquired mutations and is also called sporadic cancer. On the contrary, germline mutations are liable for cancers that people who carry the genetic mutations that would increase their risk for cancer and these mutations are typically inherited from a parent to a child. Because this germline mutation is in every cell of a person’s body, including the reproductive cells (egg or sperm), it could be incorporated into the chromosomes and transmitted to offspring. Germline mutations play a key role in certain types of cancer, such as eye tumor retinoblastoma, and they are also called inherited …show more content…
If the cancer type is not related to the inherited cancer, it is most often due to coincidence or because family members have exposed to a common carcinogen or lead a similar life style. The common carcinogen can be cigarette-smoking, arsenic compounds, and asbestos. These carcinogens can induce different types of cancer in lungs, skin, or gastrointestinal track. Additionally, they can mutate genes at different spots of the chromosomes in different types of cells. That is the reason why they can mediate so many different kinds of cancer. However, if close relatives, like a parent or siblings, have the same type of cancer, it is very much likely that the same cancer may occur due to the high similarity of genetic background, even if the cancer was from a genetic mutation. For example, the risk of breast cancer links to family history due to carried genes or some shared

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