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Carcinogenesis and Its Prevention - Assignment Example

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This assignment "Carcinogenesis and Its Prevention" critically discusses the role and molecular mechanisms of cancer stem cells in carcinogenesis, stem cells and their functioning and the cancer stem cell theory. The formation of cancer cells continues to replicate causing further mutations…
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Carcinogenesis and Its Prevention
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Download file to see previous pages These newly acquired capabilities are regulated by processes such as gene expression through chromatin structure control, damage of fatty-acid metabolism, hormonal exposure, DNA damage and alteration of cell-interactions (Reya, et al, 2001, p.507). The formation of cancer cells continues to replicate causing further mutations which finally lead to a complete neoplastic phenotype.
To understand this whole process let us first consider stem cells and their role in the body. According to Sell (2003, p.16), mature stem cells are present in many body tissues where they facilitate tissue development, repair as well as a replacement when necessary. All these cells have similar characteristics that enable them to replicate through a process of self-renewal as they also differentiate to form various tissues in the body. These processes are natural and occur in every normal functioning organism’s body, any alteration of the process may be the key to the development of cancerous tumors. Different theories have been put forth to explain the development of these cancerous tumors, each theory focuses on specific aspects of cancer. For instance, the theory of Cancer Stem-Cell (CSC) explains that the normal stem cell differentiation process when altered forms cells that are terminally differentiated which in turn causes mutation accumulation causing tumor (Trosko, 2004, p.211).
At the beginning of the 20th century, people had no explanations of the exact causation of cancer cells. Chang, et al, (2001, p.206) explains that the initial belief was that chemicals were among the causes of cancer with neither a particular understanding of the molecules that caused cancer nor their target cells. What was lacking at this time was knowledge of chemical mechanisms leading to cancer and the tumor progression characteristics which are brought about by molecular changes. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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