Cancer Flashcards Preview

YR1 MCD Cell Pathology > Cancer > Flashcards

Flashcards in Cancer Deck (22):

what is neoplasm?

a new and abnormal growth of tissue

growth is uncoordinated and persists after the stimuli that initiated change stops


what is carcinogenesis?

malignancy acquired in a "step-wise" process - tumour progression as a result of an accumulation of successive mutations


give examples of carcinogens that increase cancer risk

- chemicals
- viruses
- radiation (UV, x-rays)
- hormones (oestrogen)
- bacteria, fungi, parasites


what are 4 common targets of genetic mutations?

1) growth-promoting genes (oncogenes)
2) growth-inhibiting genes (tumour suppressor genes)
3) genes regulating programmed cell death (apoptosis genes)
4) genes preventing mutations in the normal cell cycle (DNA repair genes)


what are features of a benign tumour?

- well differentiated
- grow slowly
- do not invade (but can cause pressure effects)
- do not metastasise


what are features of malignant tumours?

- disorganised cells and lack of differentiation (anaplasia)
- grow quickly
- invade locally and into tissues
- metastasise


what are the 4 mechanisms of invasion/metastasis?

- lymphatic
- haematogenous (via blood)
- body cavities
- contiguous (adjacent cells/tissues)


how does age affect cancer rates?

- higher incidence >55yos due to increased accumulation of mutations
- BUT some cancers specifically target youth (e.g. leukemias, neuroblastoma, Wilm's tumour)


how does geographical location affect cancer rates?

- stomach cancer is high in japan than USA due to diet
- melanoma is higher in NZ and Australia than Scandinavia due to UV exposure


how does the environment affect cancer rates?

- UV light
- occupational agents (asbestos)
- alcohol
- smoking
- existing infections (viruses, HPV)


how do genetics affect cancer rates?

- autosomal dominant: inherited cancer syndromes where a single mutant gene is responsible
- autosomal recessive: inherited defective DNA repair mechanisms
- unknown: familial cancer syndromes


outline the stages of diagnosis and staging

1) clinical symptoms/signs
2) screening programmes
3) surgical/radiological guided biopsy
4) +/- tumour markers
5) radiological staging pre-op
6) laboratory methods


what is involved in radiological staging pre-op?

- CT scan
- MRI scan
- PET scan


what is involved in laboratory methods?

- cytology test (examining cells under microscope)
- histology (examining tissues under microscope)


what are the clinical effects of tumours?

- anxiety
- pressure
- ulceration
- infection
- bleeding
- increased basal metabolic rate
- reduced fat/muscle bulk


what is the main staging system based on?

- size of primary lesion
- spread of regional lymph nodes
- presence of metastases


what 3 cancers are screened for in the UK?

- breast cancer
- cervical cancer
- bowel cancer


describe the breast screening programme

- most common female cancer in UK
- higher risk > 50yos
- involves a mammogram


describe the cervical screening programme

- 11th most common cancer in UK
- most common in females <35yos
- detectable with easy, low cost process involving a smear


describe the bowel screening programme

- 1 in 20 develop bowel cancer
- 3rd most common cancer
- FOB (fecal-occult-blood) testing and progress to colonoscopy if +ve


what does a successful screening programme include?

- reliable prediction of tumour behaviour
- treatment available
- target population has enough people at risk to justify expense
- cost-effective and reliable screening tools


what factors can help prevent cancer?

- vaccinations
- lifestyle: smoking cessation, sun protection, limited processed meats, alcohol in moderation