How Does Cancer Cause Death?
By proliferation and activation of secretion by a cell type that deranges overall metabolism or some particular signaling function. Example: production of calcitonin by a thyroid tumor, paralyzing the heart. Many cancers lead to cachexia that way. By producing tumors that impinge mechanically on normal tissues and impair their function. Example: lymphomas causing strokes embolically. By depriving nearby functional tissues of energy or substrate, disrupting essential functions. Example: liver cancers depriving the blood of albumin and/or globulins. By negative feedback to counteract the proliferation of related normal tissues whose normal function is proliferative, as in the immune system or digestive tract. Short answer: A cellular mass will experience uncontrolled growth, depriving the organs around it of vital resources until they begin to shut down and die. Long answer: “Cancer” is not really a single disease. It manifests itself in many ways, in may parts of the body. The one thing they all have in common is the short answer above. That being said, the specifics of how a cancer kills are unique to that particular form of cancer. Cancer comes in a wide variety of forms, but Continue reading >>