One Of The Most Well Known Cancers In Today's Society, Breast Cancer

1839 words - 8 pages

Breast Cancer is one of the most well-known cancers in today’s society. Or is it? What does society know about breast cancer other than it obviously is cancer of the breast? Breast cancer is very well advertised with the pink ribbons, the commercials and advertisements, the Breast Cancer walks, and the promotional information given out regarding mammograms. In today’s world there are several cancers, but breast cancer is very prevalent among women and men. This paper is designed to research what breast cancer is, in order to bring awareness through education.
How does breast cancer develop? Breast cancer can first develop when proliferation of cells (or division of cells) begins to divide out of control. This can occur because of mutations in genes that regulate the proliferation of our cells. One gene that can be mutated is a tumor suppressor gene. This is a gene that in its normal state will turn off proliferation when needed. When this tumor suppressor gene is mutated then cells no longer have anything stopping them to proliferate uncontrollably. This uncontrollable division of cells is cancer. Another gene that could be mutated is a Proto-Oncogene. An oncogene is a proto-oncogene that has been mutated to accelerate proliferation, which in response causes cancer. Another tumor suppressor gene is called the p53 gene. This is a tumor suppressor gene that acts as a check point in cellular proliferation. A mutation in the p53 gene is the most common genetic change that is linked to breast cancer (Clark, 2005).
The breasts are very sensitive to developing breast cancer because of a few reasons. First is that every female has the hormone estrogen which naturally stimulates breast cell division. These cellular divisions can increase the risk for mutations in DNA, and the damage can be permanent. Next, the breast cells are not fully developed until a woman has had their first full-term pregnancy. Breast cells that are not mature are more susceptible to bind to carcinogens, which are cancer causing agents. Mature breast cells are better at repairing this damage in the DNA due to carcinogens than women who do not have mature breast cells. Other tissues in the body such as the heart or liver are formed at birth, while the breast tissue is only a small duct at birth. Breasts really start to develop around the time of puberty and continue until the first pregnancy. When a child is going through puberty, they are more susceptible for their immature breast cells to bind to carcinogens, and because they are immature cells, they are not very good at repairing the damage. After a women has gone through a full term pregnancy, many of her breast cells turn into mature cells that are called differentiated. These differentiated cells make milk for the baby. These calls are less likely to have DNA damage or mutation. Breast feeding has been shown to reduce mutations in the breast, which is a great reason to breast feed one’s child (American Cancer Society, 2014). ...

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