Research Paper Sample: Normal Physiology of Cells and Effects of Cancer on Cells System

Published: 2022-05-26
Research Paper Sample: Normal Physiology of Cells and Effects of Cancer on Cells System
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories:  Biology Cancer
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1303 words
11 min read

A cell is the basic or smallest unit of a living thing and has many other components which have unique functions to make the cell alive and healthy. The cells may look different when viewed under the microscope but they have many features in common, both chemical and structural. The cell components are cell membrane, nucleus, mitochondrion, cytoplasm, ribosomes, endoplasmic reticulum, cytoskeleton, Golgi apparatus, and lysosomes. Cells undergo cell differentiation to form many other cells, connected by tendons. The human body is multicellular, that is, consists of many different types of cells. The whole human body originated from a single cell (a fertilized egg), which continued to grow and develop (differentiate) and combine together to form tissues (bone, skin, muscles, et cetera) and organs (heart, lungs, brain, liver, et cetera), which make up the body. Cells are important to the body because they enable the body to intake nutrients from food, converts it into energy thereby enabling the normal activities of the body organs and tissues to carry out specialized functions. Cells help in the molecular (oxygen, water, and carbon dioxide) transport and in reproduction or cell replacement as others die (Silverthorn, Ober, Garrison, Silverthorn, & Johnson, 2009).

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Healthy organs and tissues depend on how the cells function. The physiological state of a body originates from the normal cells function. The normal function of a cell emanates from its components; cell membrane, nucleus, mitochondrion, cytoplasm, ribosomes, endoplasmic reticulum, cytoskeleton, Golgi apparatus, and lysosomes. The chemical processes (biochemical information signaling) and physical functions (biological organizations) that exist in a living organism are controlled from within the cells (Silverthorn et al., 2009). The cell's plasma membrane controls the flow of materials in and out of the cells through selective permeability. The membrane allows nutrients, uncharged polar molecules (water and carbon dioxide), hydrophobic molecules (oxygen), and lipid soluble (hydrocarbon), all necessary to the cells to enter, but blocks wastes and toxins out of the cell (Porth, 2005). Cytoplasm is gel-like and serves to hold water, organic molecules, salt, and enzymes that catalyze reactions that aid to effective functions of various cells. The cytoplasm also contains the insoluble constituents including mitochondria, ribosomes, lysosomes, cytoskeletons, several vacuoles, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and the Golgi apparatus, each of which has particular functions within the cell.

The command center of each cell is the nucleus. It sends signals and basic information for the cell to be able to identify nutrients from toxins and allows cells to grow, mature, differentiate, or die. The nucleus also encloses the cell's hereditary material, the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). The cells growth is controlled and replacement is done properly in a manner that ensures the cells are healthy, all with the help of nucleus DNA and ribonucleic acid (RNA) commands. There are stages that the DNA passes information that informs the cells to stop dividing at the period of maturity (Fox, 2006). The physiology of the cells in general allows effective and efficient movement of proteins within the cells in both enzymatic and structure process, passive and active transport that facilitates molecular movements into and out of the cell, autophagy (cells kill microbial invaders, and their own internal components), cell movement, cell division to allow growth, cell signaling to regulate behavior, cell death and DNA repair, cell metabolism, and gene expression through mRNA splicing and transcription. Fox illustrates that all these functions ensure that the human cells or the cells in any living think functions in a normal manner.

Effects of Cancer on Cells System:

Cancer cells affect the cell physiology and pose a critical danger to the body organs. These cells uncontrollably undergo cell differentiation or cell division in the areas where they attack. Cancer is, therefore, as a collection of diseases named depending on the affected organ. Some of these diseases are lung cancer, skin cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, et cetera. In the normal cell division, the cells divide and enable effective growth and formation of new cells as the body needs. As cells grow, they mature, grow old or die and fresh ones take over. However, the cancer cells growth are uncontrollable, do not stop, and often spread into the adjacent tissues (Nishikawa, & Osawa, 2007). According to this article, the orderly development of cells breaks down and the old cells survive rather than dying, which makes the cancer cells to become more abnormal. The non-stop division may cause growths known as tumors. These tumors are malignant and may cause new tumors far from the initial area of attack (Nishikawa, & Osawa, 2007).

The mechanism that relays signals and the metabolism in cells are largely conserved in both normal and cancer cells. However, in the normal cells, the signal initiation needs extracellular stimulation, whereas the cancer cells often mutate to enhance these stimulation pathways, enabling them to continue to metabolize and biosynthesize independent of the normal cell physiologic constraints (DeBerardinis, Lum, JHatzivassiliou, & Thompson, 2008). In short, the cancer cells show increased metabolic independence, hence divide uncontrollably.

The cancer cells are not related to cell cycle. They are able to grow increasingly to form tumors in the tissues for some cancers. Cancer cells can migrate to other body parts through metastasis, enhance new blood vessel growth through angiogenesis (which provides the tumors with nutrients and oxygen), and fail to undergo the normal cell death through the process of apoptosis. The normal cells would, however, undergo these processes when, for instance, the DNA damages or the cell matures or dies. The cancer cells also undergo the replicative immortality, that is, they continuously divide and do not die. The normal cell physiology allows the cells to divide at approximately 40 to 60 rounds before attaining the stage when they are incapable to divide (Schnipper, Davidson, Wollins, Tyne, Blayney, Blum, & Lyman, 2015). Cancer cells may arise from changes in genes which control the functionality of cells, lifetime errors due to DNA damages, environmental exposures including radiations (ultraviolet rays from the sun), chemicals in certain foods and tobacco smoking. Instead of the normal growth, the cancer cells are likely to damage tissues and interfere with the normal functionalities of cells and the body's physiology. The cancer cells are able to mutate and allow blood vessels to them feed and keep them alive.Treatment for Cancer:

Treatment of cancer can be done through various therapies. It can be through a change of lifestyles, surgery, and radiotherapy, and other means. Anthony Holland in Ted talk highlights the discovery of Oscillating Pulsed Electric Fields (OPEF) in cancer cells destruction. Also, the cell death can be triggered by chemotherapy approaches, that is, the use of toxins substances to promote the cancer cell death. Lastly, research has found that healthy eating is an approach to avoid or starve cancer cells. These foods include vegetables, grains, and natural farm produces (Ted, 2015).


DeBerardinis, R. J., Lum, J. J., Hatzivassiliou, G., & Thompson, C. B. (2008). The biology of cancer: metabolic reprogramming fuels cell growth and proliferation. Cell Metabolism, 7(1), 11-20.

Fox, S. I. (2006). Human Physiology 9th Editon (pp. 117-118). McGraw-Hill Press, New York, USA.

Nishikawa, S., & Osawa, M. (2007). Niche for Normal and Cancer Stem Cells. Cancer Stem Cells, 1-12. doi:10.1007/2789_2007_041

Porth, C. (2005). Pathophysiology: Concepts of altered health states (Vol. 1). Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Schnipper, L. E., Davidson, N. E., Wollins, D. S., Tyne, C., Blayney, D. W., Blum, D., ... & Lyman, G. H. (2015). American Society of Clinical Oncology statement: a conceptual framework to assess the value of cancer treatment options. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 33(23), 2563.

Silverthorn, D. U., Ober, W. C., Garrison, C. W., Silverthorn, A. C., & Johnson, B. R. (2009). Human physiology: an integrated approach. San Francisco, CA, USA:: Pearson/Benjamin Cummings.

Ted. (2012). Bill Doyle: Treating cancer with electric fields. Retrieved from

Ted. (2014). Can we eat to starve cancer? - William Li. Retrieved from

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