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Cancer Biology.docx

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Health Science
HLSC 2460U
Otto Sanchez

Cancer Biology Typical of Primary Tumors  Cancers that started growing from individual cells and eventually turned into a mass  Nodules with ill-defined borders  Destroyed tissue  5-10cm in diameter (later in the process) Location of Cancer Determines Diagnosis Hemoptysis  cough blood  first indication of lung cancer Osteosarcoma  similar to Terry Fox cancer  first indication would be dull pain  a fracture/injury would lead a person to seek medical attention  late diagnosis Brain Cancer  diagnosed earlier because it is confined by the skull  as the tumor grows, compression will cause symptoms Ovarian Cancer/Pancreatic Cancer  usually too late Common Features of ALL Cancers  Dysplasia; especially in epithelial tissues  Atypia; develop into an “in-situ neoplasm” also called carcinoma (technical name for cancer of epithelial) What DEFINES A Cell a “Cancer” Cell  in-situ neoplasm is composed of cancer cells that have not yet invaded normal tissue  invasive neoplasm started as in-situ neoplasm/carcinoma but is now invading and destroying normal tissue (submucosa in the gut)  all human cancers undergo this spectrum of change, all started from normal tissue – dysplasia – atypia – in-situ – invasive  almost all human cancers are diagnosed when they are invasive (except we can sometimes catch breast cancer at in-situ stage) Terminology  Malignant; cancer  Benign; not cancerous yet (normal tissues) Malignant  a lot more cells (hyperplasia)  not unusual to see mitosis (high mitotic index)  not a well-defined border because there is a bit of invasion of local tissues Benign  cells look similar to normal cells but there are a lot more (hyperplasia)  structure is a bit different although it still looks like a gland (prostate)  slow growth  low mitotic index  well-defined border distinguish what is and is not tumor (well-defined capsule) Differentiation  relates to how closely the tumor cells are to the normal tissue  benign; they will look closely similar to the normal tissue (well-differentiated)  malignant; they will be poorly differentiated (not look like normal cells)  stem cells are undifferentiated and as it differentiates it turns into a functional cell (this is a normal feature to all human cells) (gametes and ovum = undifferentiated cells)  cells can de-differentiate (go backwards)  the more undifferentiated a cancer cell is, the more aggressive it will be (poor differentiated, such as in a malignant tumor)  anaplastic : a lot more aggressive than a well-differentiated tumor Metastases  ability cancer cells have to escape normal organ and spread into other organs  lung -- bone  malignant tumor has the ability to do this, benign cannot  this is what kills people who have cancers, without this it would be easy to treat  many steps are involved: be locally ag
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