Review the concept of ” Survival of the fittest (Links to an external site.)“
Thinking about the information presented in the course, Do you feel that the idea of “survival of the fittest” applies to cancer cells? Justify your answer ( minimum word count for initial post 250 words)
u can make it very broad and short I’m not looking for anything crazy. i also attached some of the discussions some others have posted so u can use it as reference 🙂
1. From all the information we have learned in this course, I do think “survival of the fittest” applies to cancer cells. Survival of the Fittest originated from the definition of Natural Selection by Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace. Natural Selection is the idea that species that acquire adaptations favorable for their environment will pass those adaptations to their offspring (Russel Wallace, Scoville). Herbert Spencer then created the term “survival of the fittest” by correlating it to Darwin’s definition of “natural selection.” Survival of the Fittest does not mean that the best physical species and only those in the best shape will survive in their nature or environment.
After reading the article “Survival of the Fittest vs. Natural Selection” by Heather Scoville, my understanding of “survival of the fittest” means those with favorable adaptations will survive or live long enough and not just the ones that are considered in the “best shape.” (Scoville, 2019). Cancer cells are known for their proliferation advantage compared to normal cells. These cancer cells can replicate and be double the number of normal cells we have which will eventually take over our normal cells and tissue. Cancer cells can grow rapidly if they are given sufficient nutrients and oxygen they need.
In the end, I believe “survival of the fittest” applies to cancer cells because these cells adapt to their environment. Cancer cells are always being developed and therefore, the cancer cells that stay alive are because they adapted to the environment stronger than the rest of the cancer cells and did not die off.
2. Throughout the course, understanding how cancer cells work has led me to believe that “survival of the fittest” does apply in a way. Key environmental and hereditary factors play a massive part in what was meant by Charles Darwin in the evolution theory. Although cancer cells may not be good or even “fit”, the evolution theory he described was one in which these adaptations or mutations are passed to offspring. Cancer cells are in a constant battle with normal cells to ultimately decide which one will survive. Normal cells are at a clear disadvantage because there is still so much unknown about the cancer cells.
From all the material covered in this class, we can ascertain that cancer cells can divide almost indefinitely. This is because they are able to block inhibitors and different suppressors, withstand apoptosis, are not anchor or density-dependent, and can damage and infect normal cells. Cancer cells have the support of infectious diseases to aid in immune suppression. They are also caused by random chance occurrences in our own DNA. Although normal cells also have the ability to adapt to environmental factors, the only advantage they have is treatment intervention, treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy. Even with that, cancer cells are becoming more resistant to these treatments. Once again, evolving to overcome circumstances.
So the survival of the fittest, although not precisely fit, does apply to cancer cells. They are constantly evolving and becoming more dangerous. Hopefully, research will one day give the normal healthy cells the ability to overcome the production and destruction cancer cells cause.