The Biology of Biowars: The Cancer Cell Enigma
In the Biowars digital comic book, the Messenger Cell known as Nero began struggling with his status among other, more noteworthy Biowarriors. While his role may have been important, Nero wanted to be something greater than who he already was, and it ultimately pushed him into one-on-one combat with Viron, the pathogen leader.
Ultimately, the battle didn’t go as Nero had expected, and he was infected by the virus at the same moment he was subjected to X-Ray radiation inside Alex Hawking’s body. But rather than die from the infection and exposure, Nero was transformed into an enemy of the Biowarrior heroes, mutating into the cancerous Omni-Cell and biological offender Carcin.
What is Cancer?
When Nero made his transformation into the despicable evildoer Carcin, his body began its slow transition into a cancerous cell that had one goal in mind: taking down Natural Killer Cells and other Biowarriors – which of course meant also taking down Alex Hawking with them.
In many ways, cancer imitates this same path. You see, there’s process going on inside your body right now, where all kinds of cells are dying and being replaced by new cells of the same type. It’s all very normal, and is a natural part of being a human being.
Sometimes, however, the process takes on a life of its own, and starts generating new cells without needing them at all. This can also include combining with thousands of the old cells that end up sticking around in the same areas as the new cells, coming together to create masses in your body known as tumors. And once these tumors are formed, they can begin invading other areas of your body.
But just because someone has a tumor doesn’t necessarily mean they have cancer, as you’ll find out by reading more below.
What Kinds of Cancer Are There?
First, let’s take a look at the difference between a cancerous tumor and a non-cancerous tumor.
- Non-cancerous tumors are known as benign tumors, and typically don’t grow back after being removed through surgery.
- Cancerous tumors, also called malignant tumors, are well-known to spread throughout the body and are usually treated with everything from surgery and chemotherapy to bone marrow transplants and other known cures.
Today there are more than 100 different types of cancer that infect the human body. And even though it’s being discussed a lot in today’s world, mostly because people are hoping to find a cure for the disease, scientists discovered that it’s actually been around for thousands of years.
This year, the most common type of cancer will be breast cancer, but new diagnoses in lung cancer and prostate cancer aren’t far behind. Thankfully there are numerous treatments that are becoming more effective as time goes on – and hopefully a definitive cure for cancer will be found some day.
What Causes Cancer?
As you’ve read, cancer is caused by gene mutations in cells when the DNA within the nucleus is transformed by some kind of “signal” to begin growing and dividing. These can be mutations you’ve inherited from your parents at birth, or they can come about in a number of other ways.
According to the Mayo Clinic, these include:
- Cigarette smoking
- Carcinogens (cancer-causing substances)
- Low physical activity
But just because you don’t exercise enough or get exposed to radiation doesn’t mean you’re going to get cancer. More often than not, people end up living long and healthy lives in spite of a few lifestyle choices that are considered potentially dangerous.
And with new advances in cancer treatments coming up all the time, there’s a really good chance that cancer will become a thing of the past very soon.
You can find out more about the latest research on cancer cures on the National Cancer Institute website. Or if you’d like to offer some help on the frontlines yourself, you can find out how to get involved with the American Cancer Society.