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Basics of Cancer Biology – Part 3

Basics of Cancer Biology – Part 3

Before moving ahead with part 3 we recommend that you go through the second part of this blog series. This will help you understand the complete topic better and be ready for the next sections.

Here’s the part 3 of our cancer biology blog series…

Natural Cell Process Vs Cancer Cell Process

Let’s deep dive into the concept that why and how cancer cells grow uncontrollably with a very basic example of skin tissues.

As you must be aware that skin tissues have different layers and from the basal layer to the outermost layer. In a normal procedure when the basal layer cells differentiate, they migrate towards the end. So, when the outer layer cells are dying, or the skin cells are shedding. And because of that the skin system or tissue loses the cells and these lost cells have to be replaced by new cells. This requirement of replacement or repair is a kind of signal to the basal layer which is made up of stem cells.

Normal Cell System

The process of cell division is induced in the basal layer so that they start dividing. The newly divided cells then differentiate and migrating towards the end and replace the lost cells or the dead cells. This is a natural process that generally occurs, where if a cell wants to repair it has to first divide then differentiate and then migrate to replace the old or dead cells. This kind of cell division is generally asymmetric cell division where the stem cell divides into two cells where one is a stem cell, and another is a newly differentiated cell. This process occurs normally in the human system and organs whenever repairs and replacement of cells are required.

What Happens in the Case of Cancer?

When this delicate balance between the cell division migration and differentiation is lost, then we have the situation known as cancer. In this case, the cells might just divide and may not die and or get differentiated creating a mass of cells which is called a tumour.

So now you must have understood that for cancer to grow in the body, it is not necessary that the cells must grow faster, but it is important to skew the balance towards the cell division. And that balance is skewed by creating problems known as mutation and different mechanisms where cancer is induced in the cells.

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