Cancer is a disease that has been studied for many centuries. Although it became simpler to try and relieve symptoms, it is still something that doesn’t have a definite cure yet. Cancer is a disease where cells multiply uncontrollably and medicine stops working eventually. Some might think that curing cancer is as simple as producing a vaccine for a sickness. But it’s actually not which is why it has taken so long to come this far. Cancer patients will have cells within their body with mutations in their genes which means there was a mistake in the DNA(deoxyribose nucleic acid) sequencing. After the mutation in the gene, the cancer cell begins to multiply rapidly through unfacilitated mitosis. Mitosis is the process by which body cells reproduce to replace damaged ones. Some may think it’s simple to just stop cancer by producing a drug which stops the process of cell division. But that is what modern day cancer drugs essentially are. They identify the cancerous cells and stop their cell division. But the bigger picture isn’t this simple.
Mutations are very common during cell division. It’s just that a lot of times, they are silenced, which means that they don’t affect the organism. Cancer cells are also constantly being mutated. Vaccine resistance is something that is on people’s minds during this period of time where the vaccine is being handed out. Vaccine resistance is where the virus develops a resistance against a certain drug and diminishes its effects. Cancer cells can also develop a drug resistance which makes certain drugs useless. As time goes on, the cells can develop resistances to more drugs which means identifying and stopping cancer cell reproduction is critically important.
Another reason why quickly identifying cancer is important is because the cancer cells can spread to different parts of one’s body. As the tumor(group of cancer cells) grow larger, it is eventually able to access the body’s blood stream through veins. Once cancer cells spread into a person’s blood, it gets exponentially more difficult to cure it. Cancer cells that travel through the bloodstream can end up virtually anywhere in the body: lung, brain, etc. When the cancer is still steadily growing early on, doctors can cure it relatively easily. But once it has spread to the rest of the body, the most that doctors will usually be able to do is to either slow the proliferation of the cancer cells or reduce symptoms.
Cancer can be hereditary meaning that that there was a germline mutation which passes the disease to future generations of the organism. But those types of cancer are more rare(5 to 10 percent of cancer patients). More often, cancer patients have acquirable/preventable cancers. This means that changing one’s lifestyle can greatly reduce their risk of acquiring cancer later on. Some examples include quitting or not starting smoking, or controlling diet. Although cancer isn’t fully preventable, taking the steps mentioned above can greatly reduce the risks of getting cancer.