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What Is The Characteristics of Cancer?

Updated on July 5, 2012
Symptoms of Cancer depends on the locaction
Symptoms of Cancer depends on the locaction | Source

What is Cancer?

Cancers are abnormal growth and division of cells of a malignant neoplasm. These abnormal cells cause a disruption of surrounding tissues, both in a physical and metabolic way. These cancer cells are disfigured and can break free from their original, home tissues and infect other areas. They can move in and out of blood vessels and lymph vessels.

The Four Characteristics of Cancer:

Cancer cells have four characteristics. These characteristics are common in all different types of cancer. First, they divide and grow abnormally. Cells have controls on overcrowding in tissues, in cancer, these controls are lost and cells reach abnormal levels. Also, the number of tiny blood vessels that connect to the growing cell mass also increase abnormally.

Second, the plasma and cytoplasm membrane of cancer cells become hugely altered. The membrane leaks and loses proteins or the proteins become abnormal. The cytoskeleton becomes smaller, disorganized, and sometimes both. Enzyme actions become altered.

Third, cancer cells produce a weakened state for adhesion. Recongition proteins are altered or lose, causing them to not stay to their proper tissues. They move away and become established in other tissues. This is called metastasis.

Fourth, Cancer cells often have deadly effects. Unless they are completely removed by surgery, chemotherapy, or other procedures, cancer is extremely painful and can lead to death.

Chest X-ray of the left lung: Cancerous
Chest X-ray of the left lung: Cancerous | Source


Cancers are the cause of death in around 20% of all deaths in developed countries. Cancer also effects many animals species as well.

Cancer is a process that comes in many steps. Scientists have identified many of the mutant genes that contribute to cancer. Researchers are working on identifying drugs that target, destroy or stop division of cancer cells. One such drug, taxol, have been used in the fight against cancer. HeLa cells were used in taxol in early tests. Taxol is an anticancer drug that stops spindles from disassembling. There are high hopes that someday we will have a drug that stops cancer dead in its tracks.

Smoking has a high correlation with lung cancer in males.
Smoking has a high correlation with lung cancer in males. | Source

Tips To Help Reduce or Prevent Cancer:

  1. It's important for women to have yearly pap smears to identify precancerous cancer cells and treat them before it's too late. Regular health check ups and screenings can catch many cancers. Identifying cancers early can be the difference between life and death.
  2. Do not use tobacco products. Smoking has been linked to many different types of cancer. Using any type of tobacco can put you at a much greater risk for developing life threatening cancer. If you are a smoker or chew tobacco you can lessen your risks by stop using the products immediately.
  3. Eat healthy. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Lower your fat intake. High fat diets tend to be linked with a higher risk for developing cancer.
  4. Lower or eliminate your alcohol intake. Liver, colon, lung, and kidneys have all been linked to drinking alcohol. The more you drink and the longer you drink increases your chances greatly for developing cancer. By stopping alcohol intake you can decrease your chances tremendously.
  5. Keep your weight in check and stay active. Thirty minutes of physical activity at least three times a week can do wonders in preventing many diseases including cancer. Being overweight increases your chances for many illnesses and diseases. By staying active you can keep your weight in check and prevent all sorts of ailments.


O'Dell, edited by Michael D. Stubblefield, Michael W. (2009).

Seitz HK, Pöschl G, Simanowski UA (1998). "Alcohol and cancer". Recent Dev Alcohol 14: 67–95.

Kuper H, Boffetta P, Adami HO (September 2002). "Tobacco use and cancer causation: association by tumour type". J. Intern. Med. 252 (3): 206–24.

Kushi LH, Byers T, Doyle C, Bandera EV, McCullough M, McTiernan A, Gansler T, Andrews KS, Thun MJ (2006). "American Cancer Society Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity for cancer prevention: reducing the risk of cancer with healthy food choices and physical activity". CA Cancer J Clin 56 (5): 254–81.


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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I got 1 case of HGSS and 1 case of unleashed when they were first resaleed. Both of those sets caused headaches and very non user friendly patterns. They seems to have 2-3 patterns combined into a single box in most cases. I actually had to open about 75% of the packs of each set to get all the expected primes/legends.

    • libby1970 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from KY

      You are so welcome. It's so important that people get the screenings when needed. So many lives can be saved if cancer is caught early. Thank for reading and posting. I appreciate it.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      8 years ago from Olympia, WA

      This is one of those hubs nobody wants to read but everyone should read. None of us want to think about cancer; it is such an ugly disease, but in many cases early detection is so important. Thank you for bringing awareness about this disease, a disease that took my mother and sister.


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