Why are some parts of the body (such as lungs, breast, prostate) more susceptible to cancer than other organs or body parts?

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Why are some parts of the body (such as lungs, breast, prostate) more susceptible to cancer than other organs or body parts?

In: Biology

Your body constantly creates new cells. Old ones destroy themself (called Apoptosis). When this suicid effect is damaged, more cells are created than are lost. This is cancer.

Cells in different parts of you body divide at different speed. The quicker they divide, the more they kill themself. And the more room for errors exist.
Also, certain organs are more prone to abuse (like nicotine induced lung cancer).

There also is a theory (but I think its unproven and could be wrong), that certain organs, which you only have one of, have natural developed better protections.

For lungs, its because of dust. You breathe it in and it damages your little lung knobs that transfer oxygen. Prostate and breast are because of hormones and high reproductive rates of cells, plus the added fact theres some amount of shame in having them.

Cancer is caused by cells mutating.

Cancer is the uncontrolled multiplication of cells. It results due to mutations in the genes that control the way a cell multiplies. Every time a cell divides like this, it also becomes prone to mutation – so the more often a cell divides, the more times it makes itself prone to mutation, so the more likely it gets a mutation in one or more of the genes that control cell division. This particularly applies to the skin.

Another risk factor is how much the cell type responds to hormones. Breast tissue is very responsive to oestrogen, and this makes it somewhat more prone to mutation. Other cells don’t respond much to oestrogen, like muscle cells, which is one of the reasons muscle cancer is rare.

There are also a whole host of other factors that I can’t be bothered going through in detail, like exposure to viruses that rewrite your DNA, exposure to UV radiation, exposure to carcinogenic gases in the air and so on.

The short of it is: Some body parts are more susceptible to cancer than others because they’re exposed to more things that can cause them to develop mutations.