Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Gene Mutation Linked to Esophageal Cancer

 Esophageal Cancer affects the throat and typically begins in the cells lining the esophagus. It is more common in men than in women. Symptoms include difficulty swallowing, weight loss, chest pain, indigestion, and coughing. Smoking tobacco and alcohol use can be risk factors for developing it. The exact cause of esophageal cancer is unknown but mutations in the cell's DNA cause the cells to grow and divide rapidly, resulting in cancerous cells. There are 2 main types of esophageal cancer, adenocarcinoma being the most common. Esophageal cancer is the sixth most common cause of cancer deaths. Recently, researchers have found a gene mutation linked to esophageal cancer, specifically esophageal adenocarcinoma. Being able to identify the gene mutation allows those with a high risk of developing the cancer to find treatment strategies before it is too late. Researchers studied patients with the disease and found that the gene Caveolin-3 (CAV3), is related to the cause of the gene mutations in the cell. Cavoleins are components of a cell that deal with the regulation of the proteins involved in the cell's proper function. Specifically, CAV3 cells are found in mucosal glands. When esophageal cells are injured, such as from smoking or acid reflux, these cells come to the surface to repair the damaged proteins. With an inherited CAV3 mutation, the cells are not able to heal properly and can cause adenocarcinoma. I found this article to be extremely interesting. A small mutation in a specific part of the cell can cause drastic damage to the body. More research needs to be done to identify other possible causes of different types of esophageal cancer.

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