It is not known why cancer acts as it does. Normal cells and cancer cells both possess the properties of unlimited growth if allowed to live and grow in culture mediums outside the body if these cells are transplanted back into the body from which they came, normal cells immediately become obedient to the laws of the body; but cancer cells continue to be outlaws.
It is not yet known precisely what produces cancer. It is believed by many, however, that cancer is a diseased condition produced by a virus. But it is also altogether probable that cancer results from no single cause and the conditions that are responsible for it in one organ or tissue may have no relation to the factors that are responsible for it in another. The factors which start a cancer may be removed but the cells keep on with their rapid disarranged growth even though the causal factor has been eliminated. These are thought by many to be only inciting agents which if introduced into precisely the right circumstances or conditions can start disturbances within the cells and thereby alter their natural development and their relationship to neighbouring cells and to the cell community. This disorganization is transmitted to succeeding generations of cells. Something has happened to the cell which influences its chemistry, its physiology and its hereditary qualities.
The heredity of the individual may be a predisposing factor toward cancer. But cancer itself is not inherited. The possible relationship, however, behoves those with cancerous ancestry to be watchful and to protect the health at all points. Periodic examinations are most important especially after the age of forty.
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