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Acta Médica Costarricense

On-line version ISSN 0001-6002Print version ISSN 0001-6012


JARAMILLO ANTILLON, Juan. Advances and Contradictions in Relation to the Causes of Cancer. Acta méd. costarric [online]. 2010, vol.52, n.4, pp.246-254. ISSN 0001-6002.

The importance of cancer worldwide derives from de fact that it is the number one cause of death, closely followed by cardio-circulatory diseases, according to the WHO. In Costa Rica, during 2006, 16700 people died, 3751 from cancer, corresponding to 23% of the total deaths. With the breakthrough of the genetic code in the last few years, the advancements in the causes of cancer have centered in the genes and the proteins they produce. Today we know that the same genes that create life may provoke cancer and death, when they are altered by mutagens acquired in the environment or in a few cases damaged before birth. It is known that certain growth and normal cell division genes, when altered produce cancer (oncogenes), others, such as the genes that regulate or stop normal cell division, if absent or damaged, may also produce cancer, all due to the production of enzymes and proteins that alter the function of such genes and as long as they are not repaired by the repairing genes that are constantly at work preventing the apparition of a tumor. But, there is not one only cause that provokes cancer, there are several others factors that prevent or accelerate the apparition of a tumor.

Keywords : Causality; cancer; genetics.

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