All cancers begin in cells, the body's basic unit of life. To understand cancer, it's helpful to know what happens when normal cells become cancer cells.
- Origins of Cancer (National Cancer Institute, 2014)
So what is the relationship between cancer and gene control and cells? As the epigraph states that all cancer begins with cells, and the definition of cancer is “Cancer is a term used for diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control and are able to invade other tissues” (National Cancer Institute, 2014), exploring the properties of life and cells in the light of their chemical, molecular and compound based composition; their internal and external look (anatomy and physiology); how they function to live (cell respiration, photosynthesis) and divide to grow in numbers (reproductions); and the finally the laws (Mendel’s) structures and functions (DNA) they adhere to will provide us with a robust understanding of cancer and gene control.
First, let’s explore the properties of life and cells in the light of their chemical, molecular and compound based composition that are necessary for life. All life displays seven common characteristics: Order, Regulation, Growth and Development, Energy processing, Response to the environment, Reproduction, and Evolution. When combined, these seven characteristics are called the properties of life (Simon, Dickey, Reece, & Campbell, 2013). The properties of life are visible in two types of cells, prokaryotic and eukaryotic those constitute all life on earth which is divided in three domains called Bacteria, Archaea and Eukarya. The composition of cells can be viewed from a combined chemical, molecular and compound based perspectives. From a Micro view, cells are composed of matter (anything that occupies space and has mass) where matter is composed of elements (a substance that cannot be deconstructed any further) where elements are comprised of atoms with subatomic particles bearing positive and negative charge properties (ions). Out of the 92 elements in the periodic table, 4 of the elements, Carbon; Oxygen; Hydrogen; and Nitrogen are essential for living cells. Other elements depending on the cells by types and domains (discussed above) vary and together they form compounds (Simon, Dickey, Reece, & Campbell, 2013). The ways elements develop formations to create compounds are called bonds and the bonds are Molecular and Chemical. There are 2 types of Molecular bonds where Ionic bonds form by attracting oppositely charged ions and Covalent bonds form by two atoms sharing one or more pair of negatively charged subatomic particles (Electrons). Chemical bonds such as Hydrogen bonds occur through the changes in chemical composition of matter which are called chemical reactions. The difference between covalent (molecular) and chemical bond is that in chemical bond, the electrons are not shared among particles but the particles just orient themselves together similar to the attraction of magnetic polarity...