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What causes the cell mutations that can lead to cancer?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
The cellular mutations that lead to cancer originate in two ways. First, mutations come from mistakes in the cell-division process. Second, mutations can occur when the DNA in a cell is damaged by an irritant like radiation or free radicals.

In both cases, these mutations-if they don't kill the cell or don't get fixed-get passed on when a cell divides.
YOU: The Owner's Manual, Updated and Expanded Edition: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger

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YOU: The Owner's Manual, Updated and Expanded Edition: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger

Between your full-length mirror and high-school biology class, you probably think you know a lot about the human body. While it's true that we live in an age when we're as obsessed with our bodies as...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.