Getting older is not all full of downsides. Looking at the glass as half full is always better. For example, researchers discovered that old age is able to slow down the development of cancer cells.
Until now, aging has always been associated with cancer onset. But the latest studies show that old cells are able to inhibit the fast development of cancer, as they became too ‘lazy’ to divide further.
The scientists analysed the way cancer expands when faced with the ‘sleeping’ cells. In a medical language, this process is called cellular senescence.
As we get older, the number of senescent cells grow in number, ceasing the formation of new cells. It’s a two-way street, as it can keep cancer inside boundaries, but lead to conditions specific to old age.
There are two antagonistic forces going along with old age. One is the slow deterioration of tissues, weakening the body, which can be also a trigger for cancer. While, on the other side, the cellular senescence cease cancer settling and the tissue degeneration start acting like a barrier, ‘hindering it’
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Surprisingly, cells can even stop dividing when they recognise a suspicious cell growth, for example, caused by skin cancer after a prolonged UV exposure, outlines the study.
Dr. Joao Pedro De Magalhaes of the University of Liverpool, one of the study’s authors, made the following statement in this direction:
Our work challenges the traditional view concerning the relationship between cancer and aging and suggests that aging processes may hinder cancer development.
Statistics also noticed a drop in the incidence of cancer as the subjects grew older and even a decline in very advanced ages.
Various tests are needed to verify this phenomenon, but still, the hypothesis can provide a valuable insight into the overextension of cancer in the organism.