Before we go into what causes cancer, here is a quick biology lesson that’s called the cell cycle. A cell cycle is basically the stages in which a cell goes through to divide. Since everything about cancer revolves around cell division, it’s always good to have some background information.
The cell cycle is divided into 4 stages.
- Mitosis (M) – The stage we all learnt in science 101. This is where the cell actually divides into two daughter cells which are identical to each other.
- G1 Phase – A stage where the cell creates little functional structures in itself called organelles. Basically this is the stage where the cell matures.
- Synthesis Phase (S) – A stage where the DNA starts dividing in preparation for cell division.
- G2 Phase – The shortest stage where the cell undergoes rapid growth just before mitosis.
Drugs that work against cancer cells often target the cell cycle and prevent the cell from actively dividing. Cancer cells arise from a faulty cell cycle as well, which mechanisms I will explain in the next part of the series.
This year Footsteps in the Mirror will be blogging to raise money for the Association for International Cancer Research which is a non-profit organisation that helps fund cancer research throughout the world. If you’re willing to help, you can sign up on the Blogathon website and pledge your amount right here. Help make a difference, no matter how small it may be.