This week in AP Bio we did a lot regarding cancer. We started out learning about Oncogenes as well as tumor suppressor genes. Oncogenes can be compared to the gas pedal of a car, because the issue with an Oncogene is that it doesn’t stop, the cell grows non stop out of control which can cause cancer. Tumor Suppressor genes can be compared to the break of a car, normally they help the cell to divide, repair damaged cells, and tell the cell when to die. When Tumor suppressor genes malfunction, the cell is allowed to keep growing, which can cause cancer.
I learned that men are more likely to get cancer due to their chromosomes. Women have two x chromosomes where as men have one x and one y. When women have a mutation on one of their x chromosomes they can fall back on the other, on the other hand, if men have a mutation occur on their x chromosome they will get cancer because it doesn’t have anything to fall back on.
What we concluded in our small groups were that most types of cancer have common pairs of genes as well as function. For example lung cancer would be almost all related to tumor suppressor gene and cell survival. Knowing the combos might help to make it preventable and maybe help with a cure.
It really surprised me that men are more likely to get cancer than women. It makes sense once you take a look at the reasoning, but I always thought women were more likely to get cancer.
It was really cool to learn about why things like sunburns and age make you more likely to get cancer. When you get a sunburn, your cells need to work really quickly and tons of cells are produced in a short amount of time, which increases the chance of an error/mutation. As you get older, you have had more cells replaced in your life than someone young which again leaves more room for error.
My question: Are the genes involved with the chromosomes linked to different types of cancer?