How does DNA damage lead to cancer?

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Can cancer be caused by damaged DNA?

But if the DNA damage occurs to a gene that makes a DNA repair protein, a cell has less ability to repair itself. So errors will build up in other genes over time and allow a cancer to form. Scientists have found damaged DNA repair genes in some cancers, including bowel cancer.

What happens when DNA is damaged?

DNA damage can affect normal cell replicative function and impact rates of apoptosis (programmed cell death, often referred to as ‘cellular senescence’). Alternatively, damage to genetic material can result in impaired cellular function, cell loss, or the transformation of healthy cells to cancers.

What cancer does to DNA?

Cancer is out-of-control cell division. It involves a change in the DNA structure that causes an alteration of the normal DNA regulating mechanisms. The malignant (cancerous) cells no longer respond to normal regulatory signals. Cancer most often strikes older individuals.

How often does DNA damage occur?

Beyond environmental agents, DNA is also subject to oxidative damage from byproducts of metabolism, such as free radicals. In fact, it has been estimated that an individual cell can suffer up to one million DNA changes per day (Lodish et al., 2005).

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Can DNA be repaired if it is damaged?

Most damage to DNA is repaired by removal of the damaged bases followed by resynthesis of the excised region. Some lesions in DNA, however, can be repaired by direct reversal of the damage, which may be a more efficient way of dealing with specific types of DNA damage that occur frequently.

Can you reverse DNA damage?

Direct reversal

Cells are known to eliminate three types of damage to their DNA by chemically reversing it. These mechanisms do not require a template, since the types of damage they counteract can occur in only one of the four bases.

What percentage of cancer is genetic?

Inherited genetic mutations play a major role in about 5 to 10 percent of all cancers. Researchers have associated mutations in specific genes with more than 50 hereditary cancer syndromes, which are disorders that may predispose individuals to developing certain cancers.

Will I get cancer if my mom had it?

“And women who inherit certain genetic mutations, such as those on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, may have a lifetime risk of developing breast and/or ovarian cancer of anywhere from 50% to 85%. If you inherit that mutation from your mother, there is a very strong chance that you will go on to develop breast cancer, too.”