What Causes Cancer to Grow?

Video Transcript

Cancer is the result of mutations in your genome that change proteins in a way that affects regular cell function.  Your body has systems in place for regulating cell growth, but flaws in these processes can create situations where tumors can develop.


Before we discuss cancerous cells, it’s important to know how normal cells grow and operate, to understand how errors can occur.  Normal cells grow and divide at specified rates depending on the type of cell.  Your cells have checks and balances that regulate this process and can stop replication if there is a problem with the information being copied.  If a problem is found and can be fixed, the cell will fix it, but if the problem cannot be fixed, the cell will self-destruct, or die.


Cancer can grow when cells avoid self-destruction and continue to replicate with errors. The mutations in the genome ultimately allow the cell to tolerate DNA damage. Cancer can also grow when tumor cells modify the body’s immune cell function allowing it to escape immune system detection Some tumors can create their own blood supply to enhance their growth.

When cell malfunctions are not detected by the body’s natural regulatory defenses, these cells can continue to make copies passing on damaged coding instructions to cell after cell, eventually forming a tumor.


Caris’ industry-leading molecular testing can provide your doctor with information about the cause of your cancer and provide details regarding what is causing your cancer to grow. We know that behind every cancer is a patient, family, or doctor. Caris exists to improve the lives of everyone involved in the fight against cancer.

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Patient Education Videos

The Central Principles of Molecular Biology video series is meant to help explain molecular profiling and cancer, so that you can understand how Caris molecular profiling helps fight cancer through precision oncology.