- What is cancer?
- The difference between normal and cancer cells
- The causes of cancer
- The growth of advanced cancer and metastasis
- Noncancerous tissue changes
- Commonly searched cancer types
- Common cell cancer types
- Common cancer treatments
- What are the stages of cancer?
- Some more questions you may have about cancer
The difference between normal and cancer cells
Normal and cancer cells are different from each other. Cancer cells are able to grow uncontrollably and invade the body, normal cells are controlled and have specific orders to follow. A vital differentiating factor of cancer cells is that they are not as specialised as normal cells, to further explain this, cancer cells do not develop into specifically distinct types of cells with specified functions, whereas normal cells do, this is a reason why cancer cells can divide and not stop. Cancer cells will ignore all signs telling them to stop or begin the development of PCD (programmed cell death), known as apoptosis. A process which usually helps the body rid itself of unwanted cells.
Normal cells can be influenced by cancer cells, blood vessels and molecules that are surrounding or feeding a tumour – being the microenvironment. Cancer cells are even able to influence other cells to create blood vessels to supply tumours with nutrients and oxygen that is vital for the growth of the tumour. Forming blood vessels to aid in the removal of waste from the tumour.
Cancerous cells can also hide themselves in not allowing the body's system of immunity to recognise them as a threat, the immune system is the structure of organs and tissues that aid in protection against possible infection as well as other invasive and threatening conditions which may lead to diseases. Cancer can also influence this defence system to not kill the cancer cells and then use the immune system to thrive and multiply.