Is there a relationship between mitosis and cancer? Learn the mystery behind the relationship between mitosis and the formation of cancer cells from the following article.
Do you know how cancer happens? It’s not just some random bundle of abnormal tissues that get tucked within a particular organ overnight! A cancer is the body’s way of playing the devil with you, using the very same resources which nature originally equipped it with and which it is supposed to use for the growth, replacement and reparation of dead or damaged tissues.
Oh yes, I am talking about cells alright! So, what is it about cells that the body can manipulate, unintentionally of course (you sink, your body sinks so it has to play along…. it’s as simple as that), in such a way that in due course of its being created, it turns on a deviant path and becomes cancerous? Now we’re talkin’! Pay close attention to the following segment about mitosis and cancer relationship to properly grasp the finer, more complex nuances of this subject.
What is the Link Between Mitosis and Cancer?
Continuing from where I left in the previous paragraph, a cancer cell is nothing but a regular cell with its DNA gone crazy! You see, the way a cell behaves right from the time it grows through the functional duration of its life cycle till its eventual, and necessary, death, the genetic matter present inside it decides what course it will take, how long will its life be and, most importantly, what growth trend will it exhibit. This last factor is what primarily differentiates a cancer cell from a normal one.
Okay, let me put it this way. A cell begins its existence as a cancer cell as soon as its inception starts. When all biological matter is assembled for putting together a single cell, the genetic matter, the DNA, undergoes an abnormal mutation. Say, for instance, out of a batch of a thousand new cells, the DNA of one cell shows this mutation and, as a result, begins growing abnormally, turning into a cancer cell.
Just how much harm can one abnormal cell among a million normal ones (the thousand new plus the remaining pre-existing ones) do? This is where mitosis comes into the picture. In case you’re not very clear about the nitty-gritties of cellular biology, mitosis is the process wherein a fully developed, mature cell divides into two, much like the way many micro organisms undergo binary fission to reproduce. You see, when a cell has grown to a certain stage, it becomes ready for division into two identical cellular units, having exactly the same number of chromosomes, DNA structure and all other elements of cellular architecture.
Now, mitosis is that part of this preparatory phase (for cell division) where the parent cell makes an identical copy of its genome (which is composed of chromosomes) such that on division, both daughter cells will have exactly the same genomic structure and characteristics as the parent cell had before division. Get the wind yet? No? Well, since a cell becomes cancerous and shows abnormal growth owing to the development of a DNA mutation within its genome, mitosis just plays the role of a genetic photocopy machine – it makes identical copies of the parent cell’s genome, mutation and all!
So, once cellular division happens, what began as a pro-cancer mutation in a single cell multiplies twofold and that’s just the beginning. As these daughter cells mature and prepare for cellular division in their respective eukaryotic cycles (oh yes, mitosis occurs only in eukaryotic cells), they also undergo mitosis, the mutated DNA gets copied yet again and now, instead of two, there are four cancer cells in the body. This chain continues till the abnormal cells grow so large in number that they manifest their presence as malignant tissue growths and tumors.
Mitosis is the process by which genetic matter gets identically replicated many times over. Since cancer is caused by a damage or mutation to cellular DNA, mitosis plays an active role in spreading cancer in the body by making exact copies of these damaged and mutated cellular genetic materials. Medical intervention is the only way to stub out this type of malignant cellular propagation in the body.