Cancer cells differ from the normal cells from which they originate in two major ways.
CANCER CELLS LOSE CONTROL OVER CELL DIVISION. Most cells in the body divide only if they are exposed to extracellular influences, such as growth factors or hormones. Cancer cells do not respond to these controls, and instead divide more or less continuously, ultimately forming tumors (large masses of cells). By the time a physician can feel a tumor or see one on an X ray or CAT scan, it already contains millions of cells.
Benign tumors resemble the tissue they came from, grow slowly, and remain localized where they develop. A lipoma, for example, is a benign tumor of fat cells that may arise in the armpit and remain there. Benign tumors are not cancers, but they must be removed if they impinge on an important organ, such as the brain.
Malignant tumors, on the other hand, do not look like their parent tissue at all. A flat, specialized lung epithelial cell in the lung wall may turn into a relatively featureless, round,
17.12 DNA Testing by Allele-Specific Oligonucleotide Hybridization Testing of this family reveals that three of them are heterozygous carriers of the sickle allele.The first child, however, has inherited two normal alleles and is neither affected by the disease nor a carrier.
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