Cancer General


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General information on cancer and its causes

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Cancer General

  1. 1. Cancer everything you’ve wanted to know Alex J Crandon MBBS (Syd) PhD (Leeds) FRCOG (Lond) FRANZCOG (Melb) CGO Gynaecological Oncologist Mater and Brisbane Private
  2. 2. Cancer – What is it? <ul><li>Cancer is a group of diseases characterized by uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells. </li></ul><ul><li>If the spread is not controlled, it can result in death. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Cancer – Will we find a cure? <ul><li>Simply – No! </li></ul>
  4. 4. Why wont we find a cure? <ul><li>Cancer is a group of diseases characterized by uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells. </li></ul><ul><li>Cancer is 100’s of different diseases </li></ul><ul><li>That’s why we wont find a cure . </li></ul>
  5. 5. Cell numbers <ul><li>From birth to sexual maturity the number of cells is continually increasing. </li></ul><ul><li>We die with approximately the same number of cells that we had at sexual maturity. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Cellular control mechanisms
  7. 7. Cellular Reproduction
  8. 8. Cancer is a genetic disease <ul><li>Chromosomes control cells. </li></ul><ul><li>Chromosomes are made up of DNA. </li></ul><ul><li>If the DNA is damaged (mutation) then the cell behaves abnormally. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Looking at DNA <ul><li>DNA is a very complex molecule. </li></ul><ul><li>The sequence of chemical combinations provide the code for the DNA. </li></ul>
  10. 10. DNA – looking closely <ul><li>Cytosine can only combine with Guanine </li></ul><ul><li>Tyrosine can only combine with Adenosine </li></ul>
  11. 11. DNA damage <ul><li>Damage may be caused by UV light some chemicals & radiation </li></ul><ul><li>The damage alters the base so it looks like another base </li></ul>
  12. 12. Mutation formation 1 <ul><li>When the DNA strands are separated & copied the altered base will pair with an incorrect base. </li></ul><ul><li>The altered guanine has paired with a tyrosine </li></ul>
  13. 13. Mutation formation 2 <ul><li>Nuclear radiation can break DNA </li></ul><ul><li>Cells try to fix the breaks by joining the free ends to other pieces of DNA (translocation). </li></ul>
  14. 14. Mutation formation 3a <ul><li>When cells reproduce they have to make two identical copies of their entire DNA. </li></ul><ul><li>The two DNA strands must first be separated by DNA helicase. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Mutation formation 3b <ul><li>DNA polymerase copies each strand to create two double strands of DNA </li></ul><ul><li>DNA polymerase makes a mistake ~ 1 in 100,000,000 bases </li></ul>
  16. 16. DNA repair mechanisms <ul><li>Repair proteins mark the abnormal DNA. </li></ul><ul><li>The abnormal fragment is removed. </li></ul><ul><li>DNA polymerase repairs the missing bit copying from the opposite strand. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Cancer is a disease of age <ul><li>As we age the chances of these complex systems going wrong increases. </li></ul><ul><li>Cancer is largely a disease of age – its incidence increases with age </li></ul>