What causes cells to mutate into cancer?
Cells become cancer cells largely because of mutations in their genes. Often many mutations are needed before a cell becomes a cancer cell. The mutations may affect different genes that control cell growth and division. Some of these genes are called tumor suppressor genes.
Is cancer usually caused by only one mutation?
A single mutation will likely not cause cancer. Usually, cancer occurs from multiple mutations over a lifetime. That is why cancer occurs more often in older people.
What are the two main defects that lead to cancer?
The current list of known cancer genes includes 70 genes associated with germline mutations and 342 genes associated with somatic mutations. Generally speaking, however, mutations in two basic classes of genes—proto-oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes—are what lead to cancer.
How do cancers spread?
When cancer spreads, it’s called metastasis. In metastasis, cancer cells break away from where they first formed, travel through the blood or lymph system, and form new tumors in other parts of the body. Cancer can spread to almost anywhere in the body. But it commonly moves into your bones, liver, or lungs.
What’s an example of mutation?
Other common mutation examples in humans are Angelman syndrome, Canavan disease, color blindness, cri-du-chat syndrome, cystic fibrosis, Down syndrome, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, haemochromatosis, haemophilia, Klinefelter syndrome, phenylketonuria, Prader–Willi syndrome, Tay–Sachs disease, and Turner syndrome.