Last time we discussed how there is no cure for cancer, because cancer is really many different diseases and there is about as many cancers as there are cancer patients. This time we will look further into that. What exactly do I mean when I say that there are as many cancers as there are cancer patients?
From part 1 and 2 of the Cancer Series you remember that cancer cells are cells that have special traits and can grow uncontrollably. In part 2 we talked about the "hallmarks" of cancer and we said that a cancer cell can grow on it's own and forever, it can ignore signals that tells it to stop growing or that tells it to die. At the same time cancer cells can create new blood vessels and by doing so can spread to the rest of the body. Well, how come a cancer cell can have all these traits and characteristics. The answer lies in the genes.
Genes are snippets of DNA. DNA consists of nucleotides, which are the building blocks of DNA. If you've studied these things before, you'll remember that there are four nucleotides, A, C, G and T. These nucleotides are arranged in a super specific order and create a certain sequence. Together the sequences tell the cells how to manufacture proteins, and proteins are basically everything we as humans (and other carbon-based life) are made of.
So the gene, the sequence of DNA, is an instruction of how the protein should look and be. Sometimes though, you can have mutations which changes the instructions, and when talking about cancer this is where things go wrong. A mutation in the gene changes the way that the protein it codes for will look. This can alter the protein so drastically that it cannot function normally any more. However just one mutation will not cause cancer. Usually it takes at least five or six genetic changes (i.e. mutations) for a normal cell to become cancerous. And if you think about it, we had six hallmarks of cancer. So a mutation in each of the hallmarks lead to a normal cell being transformed into a cancer cell. And as a tumour gets bigger more and more genes starts to mutate. Some mutations make the cancer more aggressive and "meaner". So there can be thousands of possible combinations of mutations, every cancer is caused by a different set of genetic mutations. And this is why a drug might not work for some patients while it works for others with cancer in the same tissue.
Hopefully now you better understand what I meant when I said that there are as many cancers as there are cancer patients. Each patient will have a unique cancer that has gotten to where it is by taking a different genetic path.
I realise that this part became very science-y so if you have any questions at all, please don't hesitate to ask, I will do my best to try and answer them all. And then next time I'll tell you about two types of genes that are always involved in cancer.
On to the outfit...
This pinafore is from Miss Patina and I absolutely love it. It goes with almost anything and is super comfy and very warm (which is good for someone like me that is always cold). I also really like it because another colour of the same pinafore is worn in Doctor Who by the character Clara Oswald in the episode that will air later tonight! The style is very Clara, and with the colour I got that is in tweed it is also very Doctor, so it is a nice pinafore that sums up both the Doctor and Clara in one item of clothing.
I also got some dresses and tops as Stylish Surprises, but I will show you those in another post. For now I will conclude with this: I am lucky in my Stylish Surprises, and have always received pretty things that I like. So I am definitely pro-Stylish Surprise by ModCloth! It's about twice a year, so it's important to keep an eye at ModCloth's social media pages where they announce it. This is by the way a completely non-sponsered post. Just wanted to let you in on the exciting Stylish Surprise if you didn't already know about it.
Have a lovely weekend and a beautiful rest of October.