Monday, July 12, 2010

Cancer Cells

Post you research findings in the Comments Section (include qns and group members' names).

Qn 1: What are Cancer Cells?

Qn 2: List the top 5 cancer in Singapore/World.

Qn 3: Describe some of the current treatment of cancer.

Qn 4: Is the usage of handphone and an wireless environment safe? Discuss.


  1. cancer cells are cells that can be affected by radioactive waves to cause hyperactive growth and division.

  2. Qn 1: What are Cancer Cells?
    Cancer cells are cells that are already in our bodies. They do not start multiplying rapidly until something sets it off. When they are set off, they start invading and destroying tissue in our bodies. Unlike normal cells, which die after they complete their job, cancer cells will not die and keep multiplying in the human body and will form a tumor (leukemia does not produce tumors).

    Qn 2: List the top 5 cancer in Singapore/World.
    Singapore's top 5 cancers are colo-rectum, lung, breast, prostate, liver cancer.
    The world's top 5 cancers are colo-rectum, lung, breast, prostate and liver cancer.

    Qn 3: Describe some of the current treatment of cancer.
    Chemotherapy is a type of therapy that uses drugs to kill the cancer cells. Chemotherapy may be used before or after surgery to kill the remaining cancer cells. However, it has many side effects. Some of them include hair loss, fatigue, and vomiting because chemotherapy also kills the healthy cells.
    Radiotherapy can be used to treat many different types of cancer. Radiotherapy works by destroying the DNA inside cancer cells, preventing them from reproducing and so shrinking cancerous tumors. Normal cells will also be affected but they are better able to repair themselves.

    Qn 4: Is the usage of handphone and an wireless environment safe? Discuss.
    Handphones do produce microwaves and heat. However, these levels of microwaves and heat is not enough to fry our brains, therefore, it should be safe. Just to be on the safe side, we may want to text instead of calling people or use headphones instead.

    Group members: Justin, Nadiah, Lucas, KS and Bing Han

  3. Question 1:
    Cancer is actually a group of many related diseases that all have to do with cells. Cancer happens when cells that are not normal grow and spread very fast. Normal body cells grow and divide and know to stop growing. Over time, they also die. Unlike these normal cells, cancer cells just continue to grow and divide out of control and don't die when they're supposed to.
    Cancer cells usually group or clump together to form tumors. A growing tumor becomes a lump of cancer cells that can destroy the normal cells around the tumor and damage the body's healthy tissues. This can make someone very sick.
    Sometimes cancer cells break away from the original tumor and travel to other areas of the body, where they keep growing and can go on to form new tumors. This is how cancer spreads. The spread of a tumor to a new place in the body is called metastasis.

    Question 2
    Top 5 aspects:

    Question 3
    It not safe for children to use handphones as their brains are would absorb more radiation compared to a an adult. This may lead to brain cancer as the radiation is so great that can even pop a popcorn or cook an egg! It is just like microwaving our heads. However, the use of wireless is OK but the scientists are still not aware of the long-terms damage it may cause. It is not advised to put a handphone directly to the ear. Using a headset with a mic would be better.

    Question 4
    A surgical operation to remove a solid tumor is the most common form of cancer treatment. It offers the best chance of cure for many cancers that have not spread. When the cancer has grown or spread outside the organ where it originated, surgery is often used in combination with radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy.
    Smaller scale surgery is often used in cancer diagnosis to remove a small tissue sample for examination (called a “biopsy”). This is used to diagnose or grade the cancer. A biopsy may also be used in the staging process to find out how far a cancer has spread.
    Radiotherapy aims to get rid of cancer by killing cancer cells in and around a specific tumor. It works by directing a stream of high-energy particles (radiation) onto the affected tissue, and can be used to treat solid and non-solid tumors.
    Radiation has side effects because it kills normal cells as well as cancer cells. For this reason, doctors have to carefully balance the dose and timing of the treatment to allow normal tissues to recover.
    Radiation can also be used to:
    Reduce the size of a tumor before surgery
    Prevent the cancer from coming back after an operation
    Destroy any cancer cells that may have escaped surgery
    This form of treatment uses drugs that can destroy cancer cells. There are dozens of different chemotherapy drugs. The choice of which to use depends on the type of cancer, its grade and its stage. Doctors may also take into account the patient’s age and overall health. Two or more chemotherapy drugs are often used together; this is called combination chemotherapy.
    Like radiation, chemotherapy may be used before surgery. It is often used after surgery to eliminate any surviving cancer cells around the tumor site. It can also help destroy cancer cells that have spread to other parts of the body.
    Chemotherapy causes unwanted side effects – such as hair loss, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea – because it also kills normal healthy cells. But these problems usually get better as soon as treatment is interrupted or finished. Medicines like anti-sickness drugs can often help to make side effects less severe.

    Group members: Casandra, Brandon, Azeem, Gavin, Khim

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  5. Qn 1: What are cancer cells?
    Cancer cells are formed when normal cells become damaged and multiply rapidly. In most cases, the cell self-destructs in a process called apoptosis. In the body’s immune system, cancer cells appears to be normal cells, so the body’s defenses will not attack them.

    Qn 2 List the top 5 cancer in Singapore/World.


    Corpus Uteri

    Qn 3: Describe some of the current treatment of cancer.
    Chemotherapy, radiation, surgery
    Qn 4: Is the usage of handphone and an wireless environment safe?
    Usage of handphone and wireless environment is not safe. Because it is emitting radioactive waves
    Group members: Yan Jin, Keith, Niloy and Jin Hao

  6. Question 1:
    Cancer cells are different to normal cells in several ways. They don't die if they move to another part of the body and
    Cancer cells don't stop reproducing
    Cancer cells don't obey signals from other cells
    Cancer cells don't stick together
    Cancer cells don't specialise, but stay immature

  7. Question 2:
    Some of the treatments for cancer are chemotherapy and radiation oncology.

    Chemotherapy can actually cure cancer, control cancer or ease cancer symptoms. It works by stopping or slowing the growth of cancer cells, which grows and divides quickly. However it can also harm healthy cells that divide quickly, such as those that line your mouth and intestines or cause your hair to grow. Damage to healthy cells may cause side effects. Often, side effects get better or go away after chemotherapy is over.

    Radiation Therapy is the treatment of cancer with radiation. This can be done in a variety of ways, depending on the nature of your cancer. Although the radiation affects both cancer and normal cells, it has a greater effect on the cancer cells. Treatment aimed at cure will give the highest possible dose of radiation to the cancer area (within safe limits) to attempt to kill all the cancer cells. Sometimes smaller doses are used, where the aim is to reduce the size of a tumor and/or relieve symptoms.

    Cancer treatments

    Chemotherapy, in its most general sense, is the treatment of disease by chemicals especially by killing micro-organisms or cancerous cells. In popular usage, it refers to antineoplastic drugs used to treat cancer or the combination of these drugs into a cytotoxic standardized treatment regimen. In its non-oncological use, the term may also refer to antibiotics (antibacterial chemotherapy). In that sense, the first modern chemotherapeutic agent was Paul Ehrlich's arsphenamine, an arsenic compound discovered in 1909 and used to treat syphilis. This was later followed by sulfonamides discovered by Domagk and penicillin discovered by Alexander Fleming.
    Most commonly, chemotherapy acts by killing cells that divide rapidly, one of the main properties of most cancer cells. This means that it also harms cells that divide rapidly under normal circumstances: cells in the bone marrow, digestive tract and hair follicles; this results in the most common side effects of chemotherapy—myelosuppression (decreased production of blood cells), mucositis (inflammation of the lining of the digestive tract) and alopecia (hair loss).
    Other uses of cytostatic chemotherapy agents (including the ones mentioned below) are the treatment of autoimmune diseases such asmultiple sclerosis, Dermatomyositis, Polymyositis, Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and the suppression of transplant rejections (seeimmunosuppression and DMARDs). Newer anticancer drugs act directly against abnormal proteins in cancer cells; this is termed targeted therapy.

  8. -Radiation Therapy
    Radiation therapy (in North America), or radiotherapy (in the UK and Australia) also called radiation oncology, and sometimes abbreviated to XRT, is the medical use of ionizing radiation as part of cancer treatment to control malignant cells (not to be confused with radiology, the use of radiation in medical imaging and diagnosis). Radiotherapy may be used for curative or adjuvant treatment. It is used as palliative treatment (where cure is not possible and the aim is for local disease control or symptomatic relief) or as therapeutic treatment (where the therapy has survival benefit and it can be curative). Total body irradiation (TBI) is a radiotherapy technique used to prepare the body to receive a bone marrow transplant. Radiotherapy has several applications in non-malignant conditions, such as the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia, severe thyroid eye disease, pterygium, pigmented villonodular synovitis, prevention of keloid scar growth, and prevention of heterotopic ossification. The use of radiotherapy in non-malignant conditions is limited partly by worries about the risk of radiation-induced cancers.
    Often, surgery is used to remove cancerous growths. For several different types of cancer, surgical removal of a tumor may be sufficient to cure the patient. The likelihood of a surgical cure is dependent on the size, location, and stage of the disease. When removing a tumor the surgeon will try to remove as much of the tumor as possible

  9. Question: Top 5 Cancers in the World

    Lung (1.3 million deaths/year);
    Stomach (almost 1 million deaths/year);
    Liver (662,000 deaths/year);
    Colon (655,000 deaths/year) and
    Breast (502,000 deaths/year).

  10. Question 4:

    Handphones emits radio waves which are radiation and they are harmful to the human body. These RF (Radiofrequency) waves is a form of electromagnetic radiation. There are two types, Ionizing (high-frequency) and non-ionizing (low-frequency). Ionizing radiation are harmful and pose a threat to cancer risks (These are the waves being emitted from an x-ray machine) whereas there are no known evidence that the non-ionizing waves do so. The radiation is too low to actually cause significant tissue healing or damage to the skin but prolonged exposure could actually cause cancer as such to the body after researched. Why is still a question as scientists are still researching on the cause or principle behind this.