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The Beginning Stages of a Cancer Cell

Many people wonder how cancer begins. There are several unanswered questions as to why a cancer cell may be triggered and thrive. As a cell divides, it duplicates itself over and over again. A healthy cell will form for growth or to replace a dead cell. However, sometimes this replication is not perfect and over time this process can trigger the beginning of cancer. As we age and replicate billions of cells in our body, we have a greater chance of developing cancer. This is why we are more prone to develop cancer as we age.

Pancreas diagram

Illustration of a cell turning into cancer and invading surrounding tissue.

Under normal circumstances cells that are old or not functioning properly self destruct and die and are then replaced with new ones. A thriving cancer cell does not self destruct but continues to divide, sometimes rapidly, and will produce new cancer cells. Cancer cells are typically aggressive and overtake normal healthy cells. The cancer will often continue to grow and spread to other parts of the and sometimes uses the blood stream, or the lymphatic system as transportation. This is known as a cancer metastasizing.

It’s very important to have access to preventative care such colonoscopies, mammograms and periodic well visits and of course to take action right away if you suspect something isn't right. Your chances of survival increase dramatically when cancer is detected early.

It’s very important to have access to preventative care such colonoscopies, mammograms and periodic well visits and of course to take action right away if you suspect something isn't right. Your chances of survival increase dramatically when cancer is detected early.

Pancreas diagram

The division of a lung cancer cell.
Photo credit: National Institute of Health

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