Wait a minute, does everyone have cancer cells? I have stumbled upon such a question, and I get scared thinking about it. I’m sure you are too! Cancer is a dreadful disease and one that has sent millions of people to early graves. We will do justice to this question so that you can prepare your mind. But trust me; you have absolutely no reason to be afraid. All you’re supposed to do at this point is to read this article. Then you will know what step to take.
Now back to the question, do we all have cancer cells in our bodies? Well, we all do, but there are other explanations you need to understand. Not that cancer cells live in our bodies anyway. Just that we humans, all of us, have cells. And any of these cells can become cancerous at any given time. Again, we don’t have cancer living in us and waiting for the right time to grow. Keep that in mind and let no one scare you.
Anyway, the talk on cancer isn’t over yet. Continue reading to get more useful information.
Why Do Most People Think Everyone Has Cancer Cells?
The word “cancer” is a name known to everyone, both the young and old. And looking at the rate at which people are coming down with cancer, one may be forced to think we are all doomed.
If you read the beginning of this post, you will understand that really, we humans, all of us, have a chance of having cancer at one some point in life. But there is no proof that everyone would suffer this condition in their lifetime.
Now let me let the cat out of the bag. Certain factors can trigger the development of these cancerous cells. In other words, our lifestyle plays a crucial role, though humans influence not all of these causes.
Cancerous cells: Here is something intriguing you need to know about this disease
Cancer finds its way in the DNA of cells within our bodies. And as you know, every part of the human body consists of cells. However, cells don’t remain unchanged as organs do. They grow and divide. At some point, they stop growing and die. It’s a normal process that occurs in every healthy human.
Now here is where the problem begins
The growth of some cells gets out of hand. Instead of them to follow the normal process (grow, divide, and die), they continue developing. Something has triggered them to react in this manner.
It’s dangerous for such cells to continue growing. At some point, they may begin to clump together. A tumor (benign or malignant) may appear and may start growing more prominent. When it becomes big enough, it can begin to damage one’s organs and tissues.
A tumor in any part of the body isn’t something to have. It often results in severe pain and discomfort. This tumor also becomes worse when left untreated or when it’s not managed well. It can develop from a benign tumor into a malignant.
How Environmental Factors Show Everyone Can Have Cancer Cells
We are not immune to cancer. Have that in mind. Daily, we are exposed to factors that can gift this disease an opportunity to thrive. Some of these factors give rise to gene mutation, which can lead to cancer.
However, these environmental factors that can cause cancer are called carcinogens. But then, not all carcinogens are known. In other words, researchers are still suspecting some factors to be possible causes of cancer disease.
So we have known and suspected carcinogens. Carcinogens are substances or factors capable of causing cancer. The known carcinogens are the ones researchers know as factors that transform cells from their typical forms to cancerous cells.
We All Are Exposed To Cancer-Causing Agents Daily!
Yes, we all exposed to most of these known carcinogens. So not everyone cancer you find people suffering is hereditary.
There are numerous risk factors out there — these range from chemicals, foods, and other factors believed to initiate cell mutations.
Here are some of the avoidable risk factors:
- Specific radiation
- Smoking cigarettes
- Talcum powder
- Disease exhaust
Different Kinds Of Cancer Cells That Affect Humans
Over 100 different types of cancer exist. The name each of these cancers have, depend majorly on the tissues or organs where they form. For instance, lung cancer! This type of cancer begins in the lung cells. Brain cancer, on the other hand, starts from the brain’s cells.
In addition to that, the type or nature of the cell that formed cancer may be used to describe it. For example, we have squamous or epithelial cells.
Here are examples of cancers that start from a particular type of cell.
- Carcinoma – Formed by the epithelial cells and the most popular form of cancer.
- Sarcoma – It refers to cancer that develops in regions like the soft tissues and bones. These include muscle, blood, fat, tendons and ligaments, lymphatic, and vessels.
- Leukemia – These cancers start in the blood-forming tissue of one’s bone marrow.
- Lymphoma – These are cancers that start in the lymphocytes.
- Multiple myelomas – It’s a form of cancer that forms in the plasma cells.
- Melanoma – These are cancers that start from cells that turn into melanocytes.
An Inbuilt Safety System That Prevents Cancer Cells From Developing
I have explained earlier the reason everyone probably has cancer cells. You can read the beginning of this post to understand that. However, our cells are not that lazy. They don’t just stay there and watch cancer cells thrive.
Our cells come designed with inbuilt safety systems. So, they literarily perform incredible tasks we don’t know. These inbuilt systems in cells, allows them to prevent cancer cells from developing.
The thing is some of these safety measures are responsible for preventing our DNA from getting damaged. A typical scenario is an exposure to the sun rays that scorch and can damage cells in the body. But the antioxidants which the cells produce help to take care of the free radicals that can cause damages.
However, there is a limit to what this safety feature in our cells can do. It cannot prevent or correct genetic mistakes, which is likely to happen given the enormous task our cell often performs.
Here Is Something That Happens Whenever Our Cells Divide
Our cells divide. And every time a cell divides, it has to copy the 3 billion DNA letters which form its genetic code. A cumbersome task if you ask me. You can also agree with me that the cells cannot perform such functions without recording an error. In other words, mistakes are bound to happen when copying the 3 billion DNA letters, don’t you think?
In this condition, anything can happen. An individual who smokes automatically gives cancerous cells the privilege to develop, destroy the cell defenses, and move further to damage the DNA.
Our Cells Come Designed With Proofreading Machines
If the error during copying of DNA occurs regularly, many or all of us would have had cancer. And you know what that means. Cancer is deadly so that the entire human race would have been wiped off.
But again, our cells to the rescue! They come designed with top-notch proofreading machines that have the power to scan our DNA code. They look for faults and if spotted, beckon on the molecular repair team to react. All errors detected are fixed.
Is Our Cell Molecular Repair Team Foolproof?
You will agree with me that the whole proofreading and fault repair thing with regards to our DNA code has evolved over many years. But that’s not enough reason to say they can spot and fix all the errors that might occur.
If they could, then the millions of people who have cancer would not have had the condition in the first place. So please, know that our cells proofreading machines and molecular repair team are not foolproof.
It might not be able to detect a simple genetic change. Some severe damages might also go unnoticed or become too difficult for the repair machinery to handle. The only saving grace humans have is the ever-present immune system. It’s our defender in times like these.
The immune system continually spies on cells and identifies those that look threatening. And once detected, it ensures those abnormal cells are wiped off completely.
Cancer Cells Can Trick The Immune System And Go Undetected
Cancer cells, over the years, have evolved and can defend themselves from being detected or attacked by our immune system. One of the systems involves showing up in molecules that appear invisible to our immune system.
This process makes cancerous cells to thrive and evade destruction. And over time, they develop into the deadly disease.
How Researchers Are Turning The Evolution Of Cancer Cells Into An Advantage
It’s a good thing that our researchers are aware of how these cancer cells have evolved. You will agree with me that being able to identify the problem means it is fifty percent solved.
The good news is that researchers are turning the tricks played by cancer cells around. They have successfully developed immunotherapy treatments that can target specific cancers.
The answer to “Does everyone have cancer cells” should be clear to you at this point. I gave the explanation at the beginning of this post. There, I said the answer is dicey. And yes, everyone is prone to developing cancer. What that means is that things can go wrong. Healthy cells can malfunction and turn into cancerous cells.