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Name: Kristine
Status: Student
Grade:  9-12
Location: PA
Country: United States
Date: June 2008

Why does cancer cells reproduce faster in the human body when it touches air?

Like all cells, cancer cells require Oxygen to break down glucose for the purpose of producing ATP. Although cells can produce some ATP without Oxygen through glycolysis, they can produce almost 20 times as much in the presence of Oxygen.

Ron Baker, Ph.D.

I'm not sure that 'touching air' helps, them, but because cancer cells grow so quickly, they need more oxygen than other cells. That's why cancer cells have special machinery to signal the body to grow more blood vessels around them. The vessels feed them more oxygen, which allows the cancer cells to grow and multiply faster. The end result is a 'tumor'.

Hope this helps,

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