here's a pic of the Gleason scale:
A cancer cell is a normal cell that has mutated into a cancer cell due to damage to it's DNA. It can continue to mutate, as a G3 can turn into a G4 can turn into a G5
trailguy, probably not intentionally, but your words (particularly those I put into bold, above) seem to be misleading (and wrong). May I offer this clarification.
First and foremost, don’t be confused by the visual “continuity” of the Gleason scale diagram you linked to…it is absolutely NOT the situation that prostate cancer cells actually change/evolve/migrate over time as your words seem to have implied. Rather, PC cells remain (as the saying goes) “as they were born.”
The continuous scale diagram is merely created for visual comparison purposes…imagine the situation where you are a student pathologist looking thru a microscope you have a sample in front of you; use the diagram to determine which cells look most like the sample in front of you? (This seems to be an example of the "danger" of putting information--the diagram--intended for the professionals into the hands of lay persons...the danger is the misinterpretation of the information by people it was never intended for.)
The root of the issue with trailguy’s post is the misuse of the word “mutate.” I’ll explain…
Genes mutate. Cancer cells don’t mutate. Cancer is produced from mutated, malfunctioning genes, but prostate cancer cells themselves don’t change or “mutate.” They are, as I mentioned, as they were born: a Gleason pattern 3 cell when born, for example, remains pattern 3. Other cancer cells may develop on some other day and in some other
location which may be different, but they too will remain as they were born.
Let’s understand gene mutation better. As mentioned, cancer is a direct result of mutated genes that can no longer participate in the healthy development and growth process. For every type of cancer, there is a specific set of genes thought to contribute to it. Having mutations or abnormal variants of these genes doesn’t necessarily mean that a person will develop an associated condition or type of cancer, but rather, means that their risk is increased. For this reason, possessing these mutations is considered a risk factor until the mutations start to cause a disruption in healthy gene function. When the function of a gene is altered and it begins to contribute to cancer growth, then it develops into a cause. A cancer "risk factor" and "cause" are different.
For prostate cancer, there are several genes that have been linked to the potential development of the condition. In 5-10% of prostate cancer cases, these mutated genes are inherited (from our parents), while other mutations can be individual-specific and acquired through exposure to environmental factors, such as cigarette smoke, Agent Orange, or radiation. Even though it is only a small percentage of PC cases, the inherited BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes have gotten a lot of press recently—probably everybody know that these gene mutations are associated with breast and ovarian cancer in women, and prostate cancer in men.
Besides (i) hereditary and (ii) environmentally caused PCs, the largest group (about
75% of all PC cases) is actually (iii) “sporadic” cancer. As an interesting side-bar fact, sporadic prostate cancer is so ubiquitous and common that even if there is more than one case in the family, there is typically no particular pattern of inheritance. On this point, Dr Patrick Walsh once said: "Prostate cancer is so common that even if there is a hereditary factor, there will be other members of the family who will get the disease sporadically."
It’s very likely that trailguy did not intend to mislead…please forgive me if it seems like I implied otherwise...but a little review of human biology seemed appropriate in this thread.
Post Edited (Blackjack) : 2/15/2019 12:16:39 PM (GMT-7)