Relationship between cancer and genes
For many years, the medical and science communities have explored the causes of cancer and its treatment method. Many studies have proven that cancer is a disease caused by gene mutation.
Gene mutation occurs for two reasons:
(1) Innate genetic inheritance
This is mostly related to family heredity. Each person can potentially carry with them cancer causing gene mutations. If a mutation occurs in key genes, the mutation can significantly increase the likelihood of the person developing cancer.
(2) Environment, living habits and long-term exposure to carcinogens
New gene mutations accumulate in the cell, making certain crucial genes lose their function. This causes the body’s cell operations to lose its balance and go out of control; further allowing cells to produce cancerous mutations. The resulting cancer cells rapidly grow and spread throughout the body.
Currently, many studies have found that three major types of genes are directly related to the occurrence of cancer: oncogenes, DNA repair genes and tumor suppressor genes.
- Oncogenes: activated by external stimulus. This promotes cell growth and division. Once a mutation has occurred, it can cause cell growth to go out of control (an important characteristic of cancer cells).
- DNA repair genes: when internal and external factors cause cells to produce DNA gene mutations, the DNA repair gene will initiate the self-repair mechanism, which can repair most of the gene mutations. However, if gene mutation frequency is higher than the cell’s self-repair ability, gene mutation will accumulate and cause cells to become cancerous.
- Tumor suppressor genes: during cell operations, this gene plays an important gatekeeper role. When an unrepairable gene mutation occurs in the DNA, the tumor suppressor gene will activate to prevent the cancerous cell from growing and dividing. This gene will also cause the cancerous cell to undergo apoptosis, which prevents cancer cell formation. However, if gene mutation occurs in the DNA sequence of these crucial genes, and these mutations are not repaired in time, these DNA damage will accumulate. As a result, the functions of these crucial genes will be affected, and the cell operation mechanism will go out of control. This is how cancer occurs.