One of the most dreaded diseases in humans is cancer. The body affected by cancerous growths is physically and emotionally compromised to a large extent. The fear of cancer kills many affected people before cancer actually causes death.
Cancer involves a group of diseases having abnormal cell growth with the potential to spread or invade to other parts of the body. Being a subset of neoplasm which is a group of cells that have undergone unregulated growth and will often form a mass or lump, cancer is marked for its ability to spread to other parts of body. A benign tumor or neoplasm, on the other hand, will remain localised to the site of growth and lacks the properties of invading surrounding tissues and spreading to distant sites. If the tumor exhibits the following six hall marks of cancer, it can be grouped under malignant tumor, the one that has the ability to spread to other parts and distant sites in the body:
Cell Growth and Division in Absence of Proper Signals:
Cell growth and division is an important process which is generally kept under check via various mechanisms and signals. Cancer begins often when a cell gains the ability to grow and divide even in the absence of a proper signal.
Continuous Cell Growth Even When Given the Contrary Signal:
Cell cycle is regulated by the functions of certain ‘stop’ and ‘go’ signals. When a cell refuses to follow the given signal (to stop growth) and does the opposite and proliferates in unregulated and uncontrolled manner, it can give rise to cancer.