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Hey guys julia here for DNews
Most people when they hear the word tumor think CANCER but that’s not always the case.
There are a lot of different types of tumors, or neoplasms as they’re called by medical
professionals. The two main types, benign, which means it stays as it is, and doesn’t
change and malignant, which signals something bad, like cancer, which means it can spread.
There’s a lot of tumor terminology. Names of tumors most often come from where they
grow. Like Adenomas come from epithelial tissue, which is a thin layer or membrane that surrounds
your organs. Fibroids grow on fibrous or connective tissue. Fibroma durum (hard fibroma) is a
common type, they’re those skin tags you get on your neck or armpit. Hemangiomas are
more like those strawberry birthmarks, they are just a collection of too many blood cells
in one place. These are often temporary and last just a few years in childhood.
Those are just the benign tumors. Carcinomas are cancerous tumors found in epithelial cells.
Sarcomas start off in connective tissue, such as cartilage and bones. Leukemia originates
in the marrow and generally mature in the blood or lymph nodes and Blastomas form from
embryonic tissue.
While they all go by different names, many tumors come from an overgrowth of tissues,
maybe caused by a mistake in DNA. DNA might be damaged from radiation, tobacco smoke or
other environmental agents, or maybe it’s just a stroke of luck. Whatever causes it,
this mutation makes the cell divide uncontrollably, basically making clones of themselves. As
the cells pile up, a tumor grows. If it grows big enough it can harm nearby organs and tissues
or sometimes a part of the tumor can break off and take up residence in other parts of
the body, which is when cancer metastasizes.
There’s another idea, that stem cells trigger tumors. These wonky stem cells drive tumor
growth and just like normal stem cells can give rise to differentiated cells. These stem
cells are especially good at resisting treatment like chemotherapy. Chemotherapy might wipe
out those differentiated cells, but leave the cancer stem cells behind, so they come
back stronger and in greater numbers.
And I mean chemotherapy is a brutal process, the first chemotherapy drugs were a derivative
of mustard gas.. But it does have the nifty ability to stop cell growth. Which is handy
when dealing with runaway cell growth. But it can also harm other type of cells that
grow a lot, like hair follicles. While modern drugs work in other ways, they’re still
pretty nasty. With the usual side effects of hair loss, fatigue, nausea, and a knocking
out of the immune system.
Another way we attack tumor cells is through radiation, where radiation beams are aimed
at a tumor and stop its growth by damaging DNA. While the immediate side effects are
minimal, it might feel like a sunburn. Other long-term effects might be more damaging.
And radiation isn’t 100% effective. Some tumor cells could get left behind, which is
a problem with surgery too.
Some of these treatments are nasty and painful and seem to leave the job unfinished. So why
haven’t we come up with anything better? Well there’ve been some cool new ideas put
forward recently.
Researchers from Duke University are looking to treat tumors WITH POLIO. Polio, a horrible
virus, used to run rampant and kill thousands of people a year and paralyze thousands more
until the introduction of a vaccine in 1955. You’d think the world would never want to
see the disease again. Yet over the past few decades scientists have reengineered the virus
which seems to knock out a brain tumor’s defenses, allowing the patient’s immune
system to finish the job. GIVE THE DISEASE DISEASES… WHOA.
Another new idea might make surgery a little easier. Some researchers from the Fred Hutchinson
Cancer Center in Seattle propose injecting people with scorpion venom. Alright, sounds
crazy I know, but bear with me. The venom is injected into the patient's blood stream,
crosses the blood-brain barrier, and makes its way into the brain tumor.
Tumor Paint, as it’s appropriately called consists of two parts. Scorpion venom has
to find it’s way to the prey’s brain to paralyze it. Turns out that same compound
binds really well the surface of brain tumor cells. The other part of Tumor Paint lights
up under fluorescent light. This could be huge. That way brain surgeons can see the
tumor literally glowing and see where the tumor stops and the healthy brain tissue starts.
But with any kind of new experimental treatment, it’s best to be cautious. Very cautious.
We hear the term CURE FOR CANCER in the news a lot, and sometimes we never hear another
word about those treatments again. It’s okay to be optimistic and skeptical at the
same time. AND REMEMBER: say it with me now… MORE RESEARCH IS NEEDED.
Can you go one whole day without producing trash? Take the #Zerowaste challenge this
Tuesday, April 14th and share your experience with Seeker! Go to the first link in the description
to find out more.
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什麼是腫瘤? (What Is A Tumor?)

1513 分類 收藏
稲葉白兎 發佈於 2015 年 4 月 14 日
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