The Role Of Genetics In Cancer Development And Treatment

The Role Of Genetics In Cancer Development And Treatment

Being one of the major medical conditions that claim millions of lives all over the world, the treatment of cancer is one of the areas in the medical field where numerous types of research are being conducted.

As cancer is a medical condition that affects people irrespective of their age or any such factor, it is a very serious threat today.

Cancer is a condition where the cells in the human body undergo cell division without control and these cells spread to another part of the body, giving rise to clusters of cancerous growths. 

As a result of the different studies and research that had been carried out in the field, scientists have come to the conclusion that genetics do have a major role to play both, in the development and treatment of the condition.

So, here we will be taking a look into the role of genetics in triggering the development and also the contribution of genetics in treating the condition. 

In order to get a better understanding of the condition and the role of genetics, let’s start from the basics. 

What Are Genes?

Genes are the basic unit of hereditary traits and they are found inside the DNA, which is located in each cell.

Genes are passed down from generation to generation from the parents to the kids, resulting in common traits that run in the family.


Along with being the basic hereditary unit, genes also have other properties and it determines the power of the cell including its different functions and other characteristics like how often they divide, how long the cell lives, and also how quickly it grows. 

It is the function of the protective genes to control the rate of the division of the cells in the human body and they also help in controlling the cell growth in a body.

This uncontrolled division of the cells giving rise to new cells and thereby to tumors is the major cause of cancer.

One of the reasons for this uncontrolled cell growth is the damage or any kind of alteration caused to the tumor suppressor genes.                            

Gene Mutations And Cancer

Gene mutations are the changes that take place in the DNA sequence and these changes have the potential to result in cancer.

It should be noted while some gene mutations can be inherited, these mutations can also occur due to different other reasons.

Situations that live with environmental factors or even some lifestyle choices can also result in different gene mutations.

 Biological causes like age, gender, skin type, and also the genes inherited can result in gene mutations.

Occupation reasons include interaction with different chemicals, pesticides, and radioactive substances can also induce mutations.

The type of food consumed, habits like smoking, and consumption of alcohol are some of the lifestyle factors that can result in gene mutations.

Exposure to UV radiation and air pollution can all be considered as environmental factor that contributes to gene mutations. 

Can Cancer Be Inherited?

Cancer is one of the most serious health conditions that we know of today and it is one of the major causes of the death of millions all over the world.

What was a condition difficult to treat in the past has made revelations regarding the treatment with the help of developing technology and medical science.

While the condition is not directly inheritable like other characteristics, it has also been noted that there are certain families that are more prone to the risk of having the condition much more than other families. This is called Family Cancer Syndrome. 

Family Cancer Syndrome is a condition when certain mutations of the genes are passed down the family line.

Cases of this syndrome are very rare but it is important to have an understanding of the situation so that if a particular family has a history of certain types of cancer, understanding the case will provide a chance to monitor the condition and even to an early detection.

So it is advisable to be aware of the hereditary risks in order to stay healthy. 

Genetics In Cancer Treatment

While it can be associated with the cause of the condition, genetics also has its application in the treatment of cancer too.

Genetics In Cancer Treatment

Currently, if someone is diagnosed with cancer, then the tumors of the person will be subjected to genomic analysis.

Check More:- The Importance and Challenge of Clinical Trial Randomization in Cancer

This genomic analysis will provide the doctors with the best treatment in order to address the condition in that person.

The genomic analysis will help in identifying the genomic mutation in the patient and thereby helps to determine the treatment for the specific person.

Thereby, the chances of the person recovering from the condition can be increased substantially.

This method is also very important for targeted therapies like personalized medicines and immunotherapies too.   

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