• Question: hi ken im mirren well xxmazoxx i was wondering how is cancer caused ?? because i wan to now why it picked my mum but she is fine now she managed to fight it ??? xxx :) xx

    Asked by xxmazoxx to Indi, Jarv, John, Ken, Vicky on 16 Mar 2012.
    • Photo: Ken Dutton-Regester

      Ken Dutton-Regester answered on 13 Mar 2012:

      Yeah, that’s a good question. In a sense, cancer can be considered a genetic disease as its the accumulation of mutations occuring in your DNA that cause cancer. When these mutations occur in important genes that control important biological functions, such as cell growth, this is when cancer can occur. The type of cancer you get will often determine your chances of survival. This is because for some cancers we have made significant progress in coming up with effective drugs. For other cancers, they have been difficult to treat and the drugs we have been trying haven’t been working. Melanoma is a an example of this, however, for the first time in 40 years we now have some really promising drugs available that look like it is improving survival.

      Depending on how late the cancer is detected can also determine your chances of survival. If you can detect the cancer early you can get a better shot at treating it and more patients will survive. If its detected later, once the cancer has spread, it is often alot more difficult to treat.

      Unfortuntely, cancer can happen to anyone. Sometimes its due to your genetics or family history that causes is. However for most people, cancer can just randomly occur. This is becuase mutations occur in your DNA all the time, however, 99.99% of the time the cell can repair it. It’s when the cell doesn’t repair the mutation when cancer can develop. In regards to melanoma, detecting it is quite easy as it appears on your skin. Having regular skin check ups are the best way to find a skin cancer early.

      Do you mind if I ask what type of cancer your mum had? I am glad that it sounds like she is doing better!

    • Photo: Vicky Young

      Vicky Young answered on 13 Mar 2012:

      Great answer by Ken!

      I’m really glad your mums better now!!!!

    • Photo: Indi Ghangrekar

      Indi Ghangrekar answered on 13 Mar 2012:

      @xxmazoxx or mirren, it’s horrible that you and your family had to go through that, I’m glad she’s all better now! 🙂

    • Photo: John Prytherch

      John Prytherch answered on 16 Mar 2012:

      Good answer Ken, glad your mum is better now Mirren.