Every cancer is the same???

There are several hundred different types of cancer.  Can each cancer be alike?  Well yes and no.  Of course each cancer has its own unique properties that are related to the organ or tissue it comes from.  Blood cancer (like multiple myeloma) will not look like and act like solid cancer (like breast cancer).  But, very importantly there is something that all cancers do share…..AND I MEAN ALL CANCERS.  They must have mutations or changes in two major types of proteins/pathways in the cell.

Without getting into too much detail the first change or defect is in the Oncogene or the protein(s) that control growth (usually means things that control the ability of cells to divide).  All cells must divide by normal cells stop after some time.  Cancer cells have defects in this pathway and can’t stop.  The second defect is in the cell death pathway or referred to as Tumor Suppressor proteins.  This is like the break of the cells.  Normal cells must die after some time…that is normal.  Cancers cells lose the ability to die properly.  So, they keep growing (pathway defect #1) and they can’t die (pathway defect #2).  See…now the cell is in big trouble it is like a bike that you can’t stop peddling and yet you can’t put on the brakes.  Yikes…that is dangerous.  And yes, this is a fundamental property of all cancer cells.  This is known as the ‘Two Hit Hypothesis’. 

If you want to learn more…please visit my website where I will have e-files (audio or written) that describe this further and in more detail.  I will talk about many different things there!  www.cancermadesimple.com

Dr. C

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