Apoptosis Defined - Dog Cancer Blog

Featuring Demian Dressler, DVM and Susan Ettinger, DVM, Dip. ACVIM (Oncology), authors of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide.

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Apoptosis Defined

Apoptosis: Apoptosis is the completely natural body process that causes cells to destroy themselves at the end of their natural lifespan. Also known as “programmed cell death” or “cell suicide,” apoptosis can also be triggered when a cell sustains irreparable damage, becomes infected, or starts dividing uncontrollably. In an average healthy human adult, somewhere around fifty to seventy billion cells die each day due to apoptosis and then quietly exit the body to make room for new, healthy cells. In most types of cancer, apoptosis genes “turn off,” which leads to lower apoptosis levels. When this happens, cancer cells do not die naturally. Diminished apoptosis is a hallmark of most types of cancer, and is one of the major ways for a tumor to expand. Forcing cancer cells to commit suicide, via apoptosis, is one of the central goals in Full Spectrum cancer care. Although many people pronounce this word “ay-POP-toe-sis,” the most correct pronunciation features a silent second p: “ay-po-TOE-sis.” Substances that turn on apoptosis are called apoptogens.

About the Author: Dog Cancer Vet Team


There is a whole team of dog lovers behind Dog Cancer Vet and DogCancerBlog.com, and we're here to help, because we understand what it's like to deal with dog cancer. We publish the Dog Cancer Kit, which includes paperback and digital copies of the best-selling animal health book Dog Cancer Survival Guide: Full Spectrum Treatments to Optimize Your Dog's Life Quality and Longevity, which is written by our veterinarian bloggers Dr. Demian Dressler, and Dr. Susan Ettinger, DVM, ACVIM (Oncology). It also includes "Ask Dr. Dressler" webinars going back to March of 2009, the mp3 audiobook The Dog Cancer Coping Guide, and for a limited time, a free bonus coupon good on Amazon.com for $30 off Apocaps.