Here’s part 2 of our cancer biology blog series. If you haven’t read the part -1, we recommend that you go through it before proceeding with this blog. This will help you understand the complete topic better and be ready for the next parts. To read part 1 – Click Here.
Now let’s proceed with the second part…
Cancer Cells Grow Uncontrollably
Well, there is a misconception about this whole concept. So, let’s try to reveal that – do cells grow faster than normal cells?
Generally, people think that cancer cells grow faster than the normal cells and that’s why tumours keep forming. But the correct answer to this question is that it is not always true. And actually, it is not important also. It means that in order to generate a new tumour or to generate cancer it is not important that the cells grow faster than normal. So now you must be wondering what is important for the cancer disease to successfully grow in the patient’s body. Isn’t it? Let’s find out.
What Is Crucial for Cancer to Growth?
Actually, the answer lies in a very basic process. For example, we are having a cell that can follow different paths such as,
- Division – Firstly, the cells can do cell division
- Differentiation – Secondly, they can convert into another kind of cell
- Death – Thirdly, they can undergo cell death process or any other kind of cellular death system
In entirety, the cells have three choices options for becoming successful or progressing or generating tumour. So, the success of cancer lies not in faster cell division but skewing the natural balance between cell division and differentiation or cell death. This suggests that there is a fine balance and fine-tuning between two types of processes. Either you do the cell division, or you differentiate and/or you die. And if this balance is skewing towards cell division it is actually going away from differentiation and cell death. This means that the cell has some kind of a problem where it is preferring cell division in a biased manner over differentiation and cell death. This leads to the generation of cancer and tumour and eventual progression of cancer.
So now you must have understood that for the growth of cancer it is not important to divide faster than normal, but the cells must skew the balance between cell division and differentiation or cell death.
We will further explore this topic in the next part of our blog series. So, stay tuned with us.