Chemistry of Cancer

Topics: Cancer, Oncology, Lung cancer Pages: 5 (1762 words) Published: March 3, 2010
Molly HubnerPeriod 1Extra Credit Paper
Chemistry of Cancer
Cancerous cells develop when conditions for cells are favorable, therefore following the divisions to continually occur, never stopping. When this happens, a tissue mass of cells called a tumor is formed and does not respond to normal controls regarding cell growth. Cancer cells have the following characteristics: profound changes in the plasma and membrane cytoplasm, abnormal growth and division weakened capacity for adhesion, and lethality. The membrane permeability is intensified and some proteins may be altered or added. Enzyme activities may also change and the cytoskeleton shrinks, causing a chaotic atmosphere. Controls are lost and cell populations will dramatically increase. New proteins cause abnormal increases in small blood vessels. Due to the high numbers, the cells can no longer attach itself to the parent tissue. Unless the cancerous cells are removed, they will kill the individual. Cancer is the number one killer in America today. We can say the known causes of cancer are radiation, sunlight, pollution, cigarette smoking and improper diets. I will explain the major causes of cancer, but before I proceed let me define the term "cancer.” To be defined cancer is an abnormal, uncontrolled growth of cells that can spread beyond their natural boundaries to other parts of the body. Cancers can develop in numerous parts of the body. At first oncogene, genes with highly specialized functions were said to be the " cancer genes ". This of course was wrong as oncogene promote normal cell division and growth as well as the repair and replacement of damaged cells. Cancer starts when one out of as many as one trillion cells goes awry. When first damaged the cell loses its external controls and then the internal controls defect. From this it tries to develop a new set of internal controls by multiplying at a rapid pace which spreads colonies throughout the body. Cancer has been said to have two steps: mutation and promotion. During mutation the cell has been hit and permanently damaged; the cell is primed and ready to be molded known as a cancer cellPromotion is the cell division of the cancerous cell which then loses its controls- it then compensates itself by becoming an autonomous body Cancer can take 10 - 15 years to become fully developed, this depending on the cause or the aggressiveness of the tumor. Mature cells tend to progress slower. Metastases is the final stage when cancer is spread through the body by blood vessels or lymphatic channels. Single metastases can be cured usually by surgery or radiotherapy and multiple metastases is cured by chemotherapy .Metastases follows a path- from the primary tumor to a specific organ or organs.

Lung Cancer is a disease marked by uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells. The abnormal cells may no longer do the work of normal cells and in turn crowd out and destroy the healthy tissue. Most of the victims of cancer die from lung cancer. Many of these cases could have been avoided because it most often occurs in people over the age of 50 with a history of smoking. There are different types of lung cancer involving different parts of the lungs. They have different symptoms and are all treated differently. If the cancer is located in one of the bronchi it can irritate the lining of the bronchus and cause a chronic cough. Otherwise known as "smokers cough". In serious conditions of this cough some might actually cough up blood. If the cancer spreads it may fill up the bronchus so air cannot easily pass in or out. Repeated lung infections and pneumonia are common with this condition. The leading cause of lung cancer is smoking. Cigarette smoke contains more than 4,000 different chemicals, many of which are carcinogens (may cause cancer). The three of the most damaging toxins are nicotine, tars, and carbon monoxide. Second-hand smoke inhaled by both...

Bibliography: Avendano, Carmen, and J. Carlos Mendes. Medicinal Chemistry of Anti- Cancer Drugs” ElSever: Hardbook. April 2008
Kotasek, Dusan, and Peter Pannall. Cancer and Clinical Biochemistry. UK:ACB. Venture Publications, 1997
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