How Do Cancer Cells Differ from Normal Cells

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How Do Cancer Cells Differ from Normal Cells

It’s not a surprising fact that a human body is made of trillions of cells. Human cells grow and divide to form new cells whenever our body needs them. That’s how we heal our wounds and grow up from an infant to an adult!

But when these natural growths of cells become abnormal and start dividing rapidly, it is known as cancer cells. It can happen in any place of your body, and this disease can affect anyone.

So how do cancer cells differ from normal cells? And when do you realize that your cells are growing normally?

Well, if you want to find out more, keep on reading! You will get to know everything by the time you finish!

Why are cancer cells considered abnormal cells?

Human cells naturally grow and generate new cells to keep us alive. In a natural process, the old cells die after a while, and the new ones take their place.

But when the cell growth starts happening without control, and the old ones stay alive instead of dying, cancer occurs. As this is opposite the usual, the cancer cells are known as abnormal cells.

This extra cell growth causes a mass of tissues known as tumors. However, there some cancers such as leukemia and where abnormal cells do not form solid tumors.

If a tumor is cancerous, it can affect nearby tissues. Sometimes they break apart and travel through your body and forms secondary tumors.

However, every tumor is not malignant as there are some harmless ones known as benign tumors. These tumors may appear larger than the malignant ones but don’t grow back after being removed.

You should get checked by a doctor for better precaution if you spot any abnormal growth in your body.

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Difference between Normal Cell and Cancer Cell

How Do Cancer Cells Differ from Normal Cells

Difference between Normal Cell and Cancer Cell

A cancer cell is different than a normal cell in many ways. But the main difference is that a normal cell will stop growing after turning into a specific cell type. By contrast, a cancer cell will keep growing and dividing.

However, researchers have not discovered all of the differences between cancer cells and normal ones. Therefore, here I am mentioning some major differences between these two types of cells to understand this condition better.

Growth of the Cells

Normal cells will keep reproducing until there is a necessity for new cells. For instance, if you have a wound, the normal cells will create newer ones as long as it’s needed to heal the damage.

On the other hand, cancer cells will keep developing until a cluster of cells is formed. And at some point, these cells will travel through your bloodstream or the lymph system and affect other tissues in your body.


A normal human cell can interact with other cells and receive commands from the brain when to stop. By contrast, cancer cells never interact with each other or receive any command from the brain or other cells.

Cell Repair and Cell Death

When a human cell is damaged or old, they either die or get repaired. Cancer cells do none of that.

For instance, there is a protein in our body called p53, and its job is to check if any cell requires to be repaired or old. If so, this protein will command the cell to die or repair itself.

As the cancer cells do not receive any commands, they keep growing.


The normal human cells secrete a substance that helps them to stick together and form a group. In contrast, the cancer cells cannot release this substance and float independently, resulting in infecting other tissues.

Metastasizing Ability

A normal cell such as lung cells will never leave your lungs and go to the other parts of your body. But cancer cells travel through your bloodstream or lymph system and reach other organs to affect them.

Normal cells don’t have this metastasizing ability, which is a crucial difference, to be honest.


Cancer cells often have abnormal shapes, some of them are bigger, and some are smaller than usual. Additionally, the nucleus of the cancer cell appears larger and darker than the ones in normal cells.


A normal human cell can die of old age! On the other hand, a cancer cell stays immature and keeps reproducing.

Dodging the Immune System

When a human cell is dead, the immune system removes it automatically. But a cancerous cell can trick the immune system!

Cancer cells can escape the immune system’s detection or release a chemical that prevents the immune cells from coming to the malignant section.

Getting Blood Supply

Normal cells attract blood vessels to supply blood to the tissues when reproduction is necessary, and this process is known as Angiogenesis.

However, cancer cells will always go through Angiogenesis even when it’s not necessary at all! So blocking Angiogenesis is one of the medical treatments that patients receive to cure cancer.

These were some of the major dissimilarities between a normal human cell and a cancerous one. Hopefully, now you have gotten your answers to how do cancer cells differ from normal cells.

Do cancer cells kill normal cells?

How Do Cancer Cells Differ from Normal Cells

Do cancer cells kill normal cells

Usually, cancer cells form a lump or tumor that can attack and kill the normal cells around. When the tumors do that to a human body, their health condition starts to deteriorate, and they need proper treatment to prevent that.

What type of cells kills cancer cells?

The killer T cell can kill cancer cells successfully. It is a type of immune cell that can destroy any foreign cell, cancer cells, or cells infected by viruses.

These killer T cells are developed in the laboratory and extracted from other blood cells. It is a white blood cell used in treating cancer in the era of a medical miracle.

This particular type of WBC plays a vital role in fighting cancer. Many types of these cells serve different purposes. Killer T cells kill cancerous cells directly.

Consequently, the helper T cells assist in finding out the cancer cells in your body.

Final Verdict

Suppose you had the curiosity to know how do cancer cells differ from normal cells; hopefully, this article has answered that question. After reading things, you will have a better idea about this disease, and you can put this knowledge to good use.

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