Hi, welcome to our overview of cancer.
After this video, you're gonna have a
basic understanding of how cancer works
and the language we use to describe it.
So I'm gonna talk about the ten most important
concepts that every nurse needs to know about cancer.
We'll do a basic definition of cancer, we'll talk about
how cancer cells are different than non-cancer cells,
we'll talk about the differences between
malignant tumors and benign tumors
and one of the worst places
to have a benign tumor.
We'll talk about how cancer cells are bullies and they can
talk good cells into doing bad things like helping tumors.
We'll look at the evasion abilities of cancer cells, how
they can avoid the law enforcers of the immune system.
3 ways cancer is genetic, we'll look at 3 genes that are drivers
of cancer and what we call them when they turn to the dark side.
We'll look at metastasis and how
we named metastatic cancers.
We'll look at tissue changes that aren't cancer but
might become cancer and the progression from normal
to hyperplasia to dysplasia,
possibly to cancer, or not.
I know that sounds confusing but hang with us.
Even though there's more than 100 types of cancer,
you'll learn 8 commonly used names of cancer
including adenocarcinoma, sarcoma,
leukemia, multiple myeloma and more
Ready? Let's get started.
Okay, so let's start with
number one, what is cancer?
I know you've heard that word multiple times but I
want you as a health care provider to really understand
what we're talking about.
So cancer is a collection of related diseases.
Now normally cells are very orderly.
Look at the normal picture there, they're very
orderly they follow rules, they have processes.
They divide, they clean up damaged
cells but when you start mutating,
you start messing with all those systems
because cancer cells don't follow the rules.
Remember they're like big dumb bullies.
They were talking about
malignancies and tumors.
Okay, so look at those pictures .
You've got normal cells, do you see mutations? things are
looking a little unusual then that mutated cell starts dividing,
then you've even got a growth of new blood vessels.
This is when it starts to become an invasive tumor.
Now as those new blood vessels grow, the mutated
cells will spread via the blood and the lymph vessels.
That's when it's metastasis.
Okay, so one more time I want
to go back through that with you.
Normal cells - everybody is in a row,
they're playing nice, they for the rules.
Now you got a cell that goes
rogue, it mutates and that cell divides
then it starts growing its own
blood vessels, becomes invasive.
Now you end up with it spreading, right and it's
spreading between your blood and your lymph vessels,
Now we've got big problems when cancer becomes
So let's look again, and break it down,
look at cancer versus non-cancer cells.
So think of them as normal.
Look they're small, they're uniform in shape, they
have nuclei with a relatively large cytoplasmic volume.
Look at the green one, so we put the normal cells in
green for "go" - that's good, that's what we want.
We've put the cancer cells more in a red shade.
Look at the two pictures.
Look at how this one is big, it's got a weird
shaped-nuclei with really small cytoplasmic volume.
So those are the differences.
Have that picture in your mind, the normal cell looks
really perfect, round, the nuclei is right-shaped
and you got a lot of cytoplasmic volume.
Cancer cell - weird nucleus and less cytoplasmic volume.
Now it may have a differentiated cell structures,
you've got normal presentation of cell surface markers.
This is a cell that can do what it's intended to do.
Look at the cancer cell.
It's all funky looking, right? It doesn't
have normalized, specialized features.
It's got this weird expression of certain cell
markers that's why it looks pretty ominous
with those spiky things coming off.
Now, the normal cells are of the same size, same
shape and they're arranged in the right order.
Look at the cancer cells, all different kinds of
sizes and shapes they're definitely disorganised,
looks like the trunk of somebody's
car in nursing school, alright.
Okay, so lower level of dividing cells and the normal cells,
and everything is clearly defined, they're following the rules.
But in cancer, it's a bigger number of
dividing cells, they're not well defined
and they don't follow the boundaries, they
don't stay where they're supposed to stay.
That's a lot of information,
should you memorize it?
I wouldn't recommend it, we just want
to give you a picture that normal cells,
look they have same size, same shape, they got a lot of
cytoplasm, they follow the rules, they're very orderly.
Cancer cells, big dumb bullies.
They're weirdly shaped, they're spiky, they don't
follow the rules and they grow and grow and grow.
So the cancer cells are less
specialized, we already talked about that.
They are less distinct cell types and they don't
function as well, they just run rampant or kind of rogue.
They don't follow the division rules,
they don't follow programmed cell death,
they just keep going and going and going.
They can also influence the other
cells, they'll develop a tumor blood supply
so they talk other cells into
supplying blood to their nastiness.
They can also evade and
suppress an immune system
so that's how they can avoid what
normally can take out these nasty cells.
Cancer cells have special abilities to avoid
them or to suppress your immune system.