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Dr. Raetasha Dabney, MD Explains The Relationship Between Genes, Mutations and Cancer

Southlake, TX – May 14, 2020–Cancer occurs when the genetic composition of body cells changes. Genes are DNA pieces that control how body cells function, and they can affect your chance of getting cancer and other diseases. When active genes encounter an abnormal change, their function in the body changes and causes problems within the cell.

“Cancer, in some cases, can be caused by abnormal genes or mutations which may be acquired or inherited from one generation to another, explained Dr. Dabney. “About 10% of all cancers are from inherited genetic defects (mutations). Mutations can stop the genes from working or keep them turned on even when they are not needed. This disrupts the function of the cells, making them grow uncontrollably and cause cancer.”

Acquired gene mutations – Acquired (somatic) mutations are not passed from parents but are acquired over time. They begin in one cell and then pass on to new cells created from that same cell. Such mutations cannot be found in sperm or egg cells. Therefore they cannot be passed on to the next generation. Acquired mutations are very common compared to inherited mutations, and they cause most cancers.

Inherited gene mutations – These are mutations found in the sperm or egg cells that form children. Once the egg is fertilized, it will create one cell that will then divide and multiply to form a baby. Since all the other cells originate for this one cell, the mutation will be present in every cell, including the eggs or sperms, and can be passed from parent to child for generations.

“Genes are meant to keep body cells under control by slowing the pace at which they divide to create new cells, repair mistakes in DNA or instruct them to die at an appropriate time,” continued Dr. Dabney. “When these genes are mutated, they stop working and make the cells grow out of control and form cancer.”

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