How Inflammation Causes Cancer

Recent data expanded the conception that inflammation is an important factor in tumor progression. Several cancers grow from chronic irritation, sites of infection, and inflammation. The tumor micro-environment which is highly orchestrated by inflammatory cells, forms an indispensable contribution in the neoplastic process, survival, fostering proliferation and migration. More so, tumor cells co-opt some of the innate immune system signaling molecules like chemokines, selectins and their receptors for migration, invasion and metastasis. The insights promote new anti-inflammatory therapeutic advances to cancer development. Prompted by the developments that outline how inflammation causes cancer and tumorous build up in our bodies.

Understanding Inflammation’s Effect on Cancer

Within the progression of cancer, there are genetic modifications that endow these cancer cells with majority of the cancer hallmarks like resistance to anti-growth, self-sufficient growth and pro-death signals. Tumor promotion and growth depends on ancillary progression contributed by cells of tumor environment although these are not inherently cancerous themselves. Inflammation has only recently been linked to aggressive cancerous development, but it has been a long term contributor.

Cancer and Tumor Growth

Cancer starts as the outgrowth of clonal population of tissue cells. The progression of cancer called carcinogenesis may be modeled and characterized in several ways. One way of describing this process is to show the significant features of both tumors and cancer cells; that is the hallmarks of cancer. Cancer growth is characterized by the six important properties:

–     Self-sufficient proliferation

–     Insensitivity to anti-proliferative signals

–     Evasion of apoptosis

–     Unlimited replicative potential

–     The maintenance of vascularization

–     Tissue invasion, malignancy and metastasis

Cancer can be functionally classified into three categories:

Initiation, promotion and progression.

Initiation is featured by genomic modification inside the cancer cell like gene deletion and amplification, point mutations and chromosomal rearrangements which causes irreversible cellular alterations. Tumor establishment is boosted by clonal expansion and survival of these initiated cells. Progression entails the enlarged tumor size growth and either mutually exclusive or growth-associated metastasis.

Accumulation of cells’ genetic lesions leads to crucial development of cancer. Such activities are normally needed to initiate the process although they can be involved in progression or boosting of tumor establishment. The genome-level practices entail the cellular proto-oncogenes activation or tumor suppressor genes inactivation. This acts in a cancer-cell intrinsic way bestowing these cells with some features. Even though while these cells autonomous characteristics are crucial for tumorigenesis, they can’t do it alone.

Within the last two decades, research reviewed that idea of tumor establishment and malignancy leads to processes entailing both cancer cells and non-cancer cells with majority composing the heterocellular tumor, like the need of neo-angiogenesis for tumor establishment hence the participation of vascular endothelial cells.

There is a clear relationship between growth of cancer and inflammation.

The inflammatory response orchestrates and provides resistance to microbial infection upon mediating tissue repair and renewal which can occur as a result, damage to infectious or noninfectious tissue. Epidemiological gives points to a linkage of inflammation and predisposition for cancer development that leads to dysplasia development.

Epidemiologic research estimate that almost 15 percent of the globes cancer occurrence is related to microbial infection. Chronic infectivity in immunocompetent hosts like hepatitis B and C or human papillomavirus infection causes hepatocellular and cervical carcinoma respectively. While in other cases, microbes can cause cancer because of opportunistic infection like Kaposi’s sarcoma. More so, factors related to chronic irritation and consequent inflammation predispose to cancer development. For instance, long-standing exposure to cigarette smoke, silica and asbestos.

Simply Put

Toxins we ingest in everyday foods, pollutants in the air we breathe, dangerous heavy metal build up and general free radicals can all be mitigated with the use of antioxidants such as glutathione. Greatly reducing the chances of developing cancerous cells as well as limiting their growth if you are already affected.

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