Take the 2-minute tour ×
Biology Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for biology researchers, academics, and students. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Can cancer result from a weakened immune system? Would this mean that cancer could be considered an immune system disorder?

share|improve this question

closed as off-topic by Chris, terdon, biogirl, Satwik Pasani, Atl LED Feb 28 at 18:44

  • This question does not appear to be about biology within the scope defined in the help center.
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

No, it isn't. Although cancers have to escape the immune system, they usually don't affect it, except for B cell lymphoma, but this doesn't make it an immune system disorder. Disorders of the immune system are diseases like SLE. –  Chris Feb 27 at 14:41
Please try and do some research before posting. At least explain why you think that cancer would be an immune disorder. As it stands, your question is like asking whether McDonald's makes cars. Unless you give some reason why you think it might be a car maker, the question makes very little sense. –  terdon Feb 27 at 23:08
This question appears to be off-topic because it is a wild stab in the dark with no research or any indication of why the OP might believe this to be the case. –  terdon Feb 27 at 23:09
@terdon: So, the question is too broad? –  Geremia Feb 28 at 21:00
Yes, too broad and also too basic. We expect users to do research before asking, a cursory reading of the 1st paragraph of wikipedia's entry on cancer would show you that it is "a broad group of diseases involving unregulated cell growth" and not an immune disorder. –  terdon Mar 2 at 15:34

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Cancer is uncontrolled division of abnormal cells. This is caused by mutations in a cell which causes a cell to divide more frequently and the lack of control by intracellular AND extracellular mechanisms. The extracellular mechanisms include growth inhibition by hormones, local factors, contact and also the immune system.

These cancerous cells could be immune system cells and then, in that respect, the cancer could be considered an immune system disorder. Or the cells could be of different origin, but due to the lack of a functioning immune system (particularly NK cells), the cells may divide uncontrollably whereas otherwise they would've been tagged for immune or self destruction. Or a cancer may be caused by a virus; in this situation an immunocompromised patient is more susceptible to a cancer caused by this oncogenic virus. In these cases the risk of cancer is increased due to a compromised immune system. So cancer risk may be increased in these circumstances but cancer still is not an immune disorder.

share|improve this answer

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.