What happens in a cancer cell that is different than in a normal cell?
A cancer cell is a mutated cell. The cancer cell has damaged parts of its DNA that affect the reproduction of the damaged cell.
Normal healthy cells have genes on the DNA that limit the growth of the cells. Cells have a certain cell cycle in which the cells grow and multiply. In this process, the cell will divide into 2 new cells. This process is showed below in an image.
The cell can go in rest again after this cycle, which is the
Cancer cells have damage to the genes that control the growth and reproduction of the cells. These cells go on and reproduce after reproduce because the genes that should trigger the cells to stop this can be damaged. The mutations on in the DNA of the cancer cell cause the cells to reproduce without limitations.
The cell cycle has a few control points, on with certain proteins 'scan' for faults in this process. Most of these faults will be detected and the cell can take action against it, for example, by killing itself, which is called apoptosis.
A lot of research is done these days to find out the exact cause of these cancer cells to over-reproduce and how to counter this.