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Cell Growth

Health Care Term

Cell growth is the ability of an individual cell to reproduce by dividing into two cells. During normal development and subsequently during the life of the adult, this process is highly controlled. Loss of this control is the distinguishing feature of cancer cells.

Although all cancer cells gain the capacity for uncontrolled growth, in most instances they retain many of the highly specialized features (and associated specific molecular components) that were characteristic of the normal tissue before loss of growth control.

For example, breast cancer cells and brain cancer cells have lost control of growth and may be unrecognizable by their appearance under the microscope but identifiable by the presence of biomarkers specific to breast or brain cells.

   
     
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