Friday, December 12, 2008

My First Findings

Source for this blog: http://envirocancer.cornell.edu/Factsheet/General/fs5.biology.cfm#c

So I again embarked on a journey through the wonderful world of online research! And this time I actually got somewhere! I typed into google the subject of: "breast cancer biology" and the first website I pulled up (the above url address)proved to be one of interest for me! I actually found out quite a bit of information that I never knew before I read it there. Here is a brief summary of my findings!

Cancer occurs when something goes wrong in the genetic code of a cell. It can be a deletion, insertion, or rearrangement of the DNA which in turn causes th cell to mass produce at a rate that is unstoppable. Normal cells, even those which have a mutation generally can fix the problem during cell division; cancerous cells that have the mutated tumor supressor function loose the ability of their "brakes" during the cell division process and just continue dividing the gene with the same mutation, which in turn start the vicious cycle of cell replication. This kind of occurence is more common in types of cells which undergo frequent replication such as breast, skin, uterin, and colon tissue. In woman, estrogine is the hormone to blame for the extensive division of cells in the breast tissue and uterine tissue. When a young female is born she is born with just one duct in the area where breast tissue develops. The development of tissue begins and spikes at the time of puberty, due to increased release of estrogen, however the continuous division/replication of cells continues until a woman has had her first full term pregnancy. After a full term pregnancy the woman's milk ducts have fully matured to make lactating possible; once these ducts are fully matured the division process stops and there is a much lower risk of cancer developing in the cell because of new causes. Because of the fact that before a full term pregnancy a woman's breast tissue cells have no matured and stopped the division process, young women and adolescent women are much more suseptible to cancer causing agents such as environmental estrogens. Environmental estrogens act as estrogen in the female body and may induce breast cell division. I haven't quite found what such chemicals these are or what they are found in.

But that's a brief summary of the information I took in tonight. Quite interesting, to understand the disease we must understand everything from its origins to the behavior of the cells, to the biological composition of the cells. Again, the URL at the top of this blog was quite a wonderful resource, for more information please visit it!

12:38 am December 13, night one of research was a success!

2 comments:

BetsyR said...

Great info. You go girl!

AZ Mom of Many Hats said...

I'm so proud of you baby! It means so much to me that you are taking such an interest in this!