Cell Death Programs

Cell Death Programs means the death of a cell or cells. It occurs through injury, cancer, or other reasons. Here are two specific types of cell death-Necrosis and Apoptosis.

Necrosis is the sudden death of living tissue. Examples are: a spider bite, infection, poisons or toxins, cancer, injury, inflammation, and infarction. It is an immediate effect. You can personally see it and touch it. Often times it is fatal.

The cells of the body do not send out the correct signal for help to the immune system when an emergency happens. So, the dead cells or tissues, has to be removed. This procedure is called debridement.

Debridement cleans the wound or surgically removes the area that is dead or areas around it like limbs. For example, during war times, you would see a lot of amputations. This is because the cells had died due to traumatic injury to the body. To save the rest of the body from dying, you had to cut out and off what was already dead.

Apoptosis on the other hand, is naturally occurring. It is not sudden, it is slow. You cannot immediately see it. Examples are: viral infection, HIV, cancer, aging, or defective cell renewal.

Did you know your body’s cells die every day and are renewed? Think of a snake shedding its skin. It is getting rid of the old cells and replacing them with the new cells. Your body can either over due, or under due this. If this happens, cancer can happen with not enough natural cell renewal. Instead, you will have unnatural, out of control cell growth which will turn out to be more bad than good.

If cell renewal is too much, Atrophy or Ischemic damage can occur. Ischemic means your blood supply is restricted or cut off to parts of your body. Atrophy is a body part that is either slowly dying in pieces or the entire organ or limb is dying. Causes can be: poor circulation, gene mutations, nerve supply dysfunction or damage, loss of hormones, and an improper diet.

There is a lot of cutting edge technology with some scientific breakthroughs on the horizon. In August, 2010, there will be an annual conference in Rhode Island on Cell Death Programs. The Gordon Research Conference will bring together the brightest scientific minds in the medical field. They will discuss new treatments, new ideas, and ways to battle baffling diseases of our bodies like cancer.