Cancerous tumors

CT ScansCancerous tumors are caused by DNA mutations within he cells which block the cell’s ability to regulate cell division.
More than one mutation is required for a tumor to emerge. Mutations that activate oncogenes can lead to tumors, as can mutations that repress tumor suppressor genes. The mutations have to suppress the cells preprogrammed cell death or apoptosis in order to create the tumor.

Certain tumors can be caused by viruses such as that causing Kaposi’s sarcoma and cervical cancer, which seems to be triggered by a chronic human papillomavirus infection.

Some cancerous tumors secrete tumor-specific tumor markers. The markers can be found in blood, urine and body tissues and are elevated in certain cancers. The markers are used primarily to help determine an individual’s response to treatment but it can be used to diagnose cancer.

Tumor markers can be created by the tumor itself or by surrounding cells in response to the tumor. One such tumor marker is prostate specific antigen, a marker for prostate cancer.

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