Essay on How Cancer Effects the Cells, the Body, and their Offspring

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Have you ever wondered how cancer forms? Well, cancer starts when a cell's DNA becomes

altered. When the DNA is altered, the cells reproduce without restriction and do not die like a

normal cell. These extra cells form a mass of tissue that is a tumor. Cancer forms in the genes of

our cells, and is able to be carried in the offspring of the person with cancer. The cells are the basic units of life. Cells contain DNA that make up genes. Genes are

instructions for the cells to make certain proteins. These proteins are then used as a blueprint for

the function and structure of the organism. When the DNA is mutated, it alters the normal growth

of the cells. This results in the cells not dying as
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The parents may both be disease-free themselves, but they might still carry an affected

gene. If there are four children, each one of them have a 25% chance of developing the disorder,

or not carrying the disease at all. Although, there is a 50% chance that the children will develop

an affected gene, and a normal gene, and being a disease carrier like their parents. Scientists

looking to find the start of disease-related genes start by looking at many past relatives, or

"disease families", that have developed the illness over several generations. Although all cancer

is genetic, only about five or ten percent is actually inherited (www.cancer.gov).

"Most cancers actually start from random mutations that develop in the cells during one's

lifetime" (www.cancer.gov). Mutations can develop as a mistake when cells are going through

cell division. They can also develop in response to radiation or chemicals in the environment

around the body. Acquired mutations are changes in DNA that develop throughout a person's

lifetime. Now, the reason why most people in the world do not have cancer is because our cells

are able to fix the mistakes in the DNA that could potentially cause cancer. Unfortunately,

sometimes DNA repair mechanisms fail, and the mutation is
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