The Differences between Animal Cells and Plant Cells

Cells are the functional and structural units of all living organisms, being found in both plants and animals. However, animal cells are somewhat different from plant cells. While they essentially share the same functions and components, animal cells and plant cells have certain specific characteristics that set them apart. Here are the most important differences between animal cells and plant cells.

Animal Cells


  • do not have a cell wall; they only have the cell membrane;
  • do not have chloroplasts;
  • have dynamic shapes, being either circular or irregular; this is a consequence of them not having a cell wall;
  • do not have plasmodesmata;
  • have centrioles; plants do not need to have centrioles because their spindle fibers connect to the cell wall;
  • have one or more vacuoles; despite animal cells having many more vacuoles, these organelles do not take up the volume that the central vacuole does in plant cells.

Plant Cells


  • have a cell wall over the cell membrane composed of cellulose and hemicellulose, pectin and lignin; the cell wall is secreted by the protoplast on the outside of the cell membrane;
  • have chloroplasts which contain chlorophylls, meaning light-absorbing pigments that help plants in the photosynthesis process; this process enables plants to make their own food;
  • are more square shaped due to the cell wall that supports a rigid, typically rectangular structure;
  • have plasmodesmata, meaning microscopic channels that traverse the cell walls; they are considered to be communication pathways;
  • do not have centrioles (except for lower plant forms);
  • have a single, large, central vacuole that usually takes up 90% of the cell volume.

These are the main and most important differences between animal cells and plant cells. Except for these particular features, both animal and plant cells share the same organelles, which can be observed in the picture below.


Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is one of the numerous ways in which the uncontrolled dangerous cell growth takes place. With these types of cells affecting the lung, this is one of the diseases that are categorized as being highly dangerous and life threatening. Just as in the case of other types of cancers, lung cancer left untreated can metastasize and spread to other organs in the body under the form of tumors made out of cancerous cells.

Cancers that originate in the lung are carcinomas and are formed from epithelial cells. Carcinomas can be in their own turn classified in two ways:

  • small cell lung carcinoma (SCLC);
  • non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC). 


In terms of the causes which lead to the formation of cancerous cells in the lungs, we can count the following:

  • smoking -- which accounts for 80-90% of the lung cancer cases;
  • genetic factors;
  • radon gas;
  • pollution in the air;
  • asbestos

When it comes to symptoms, it is clear to see that, just as in the case of any other types of cancers, these can be easily confused with symptoms for other diseases. What must be kept in mind is that, if any of the above cases is suitable for the patient considered, the risk of lung cancer must also be taken into account. Among the most common symptoms we can count:

  • coughing -- especially more severe forms of it, such as coughing up blood for example;
  • shortness of breath and respiratory problems;
  • weight loss -- when it is drastic and inexplicable for reasons of massive workouts or drastic diets.


The combination of the causes with the symptoms presented above should be the indicator of a definite need for a checkup! During this testing process, lung cancer can be identified through a chest radiography or with the help of a computed tomography. However, these methods only prolong the idea of a lung tumor, as the actual identification of the malignity of it, meaning of it containing cancerous cells, can only be done through the help of a biopsy

Following up on these medical investigations, if lung cancer has been identified, it is time for the prognosis, which usually depends on a series of factors, such as the medical history of the patient, the performance status and, naturally, the stage of the cancer.


Treatment is finally chosen according to all the facts that have surfaced from the initial stages of action. There are three ways in which it can be acted over lung cancer, which can be used in case of other types of cancers as well. These are: surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. When it comes to lung cancer, these treatments are also chosen according to the type of carcinoma identified, meaning SCLC responds better to the therapies, while NSCLC requires surgery.

Finally, the survival of the patient is subjective to each case, as it depends on the numerous factors mentioned in each stage of the process above. The main points which can work in favor of the patient or against are the general state of health and the development stage of the cancer.

Detection and Treatment of Breast Cancer

Breast cancer elicits so many fears, including those relating to death, surgery, loss of body image, and loss of sexuality. Managing these fears can be facilitated by information and knowledge so that each woman can make the decisions concerning her care. Optimally, these issues are best discussed with the patient’s doctor on an individual basis. Below, you will find all the necessary information on breast cancer, its symptoms and treatment methods.

Facts About Breast Cancer

  • Breast Cancer is the most common cancer among American women;
  • One in every eight women in the U.S. develops breast cancer;
  • There are many types of breast cancer that differ in their capability of spreading;
  • Breast cancer is diagnosed with physician and self-examination of the breasts, mammography, ultrasound testing and biopsy.

Types of Breast Cancer

There are many types of breast cancer. Some are more common than others, and there are also combinations of cancers. Some of the most common types of cancer are as follows;

Ductal Carcinoma in Situ. The most common type of noninvasive breast cancer is ductal carcinoma in situ. This type of cancer has not spread and therefore usually has a very high cure rate.


Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. This cancer starts in a duct of the breast and grows into the surrounding tissue. It is the most common form of breast cancer. About 80% of invasive breast cancers are invasive ductal carcinoma.


Invasive Lobular Carcinoma. This breast cancer starts in the glands of the breast that produce milk. Approximately 10% of invasive breast cancers are invasive lobular carcinoma.

What are Breast Cancer Risk Factors?

Some of the breast cancer risk factors can be modified while others cannot be influenced. It is important to discuss these risks with your health care professional any time new therapies are started.

The following are risk factors for breast cancer:

  • Age -- the chances of breast cancer increase as you get older;
  • Family history -- the risk of breast cancer is higher among women who have relatives with the disease. Having a close relative with the disease doubles a woman’s risk;
  • Personal history -- having been diagnosed with breast cancer in one breast increases the risk of cancer in the other breast or the chance of an additional cancer in the original breast;
  • Menstruation -- women who started their menstrual cycle at a younger age, before 12, or went through menopause later, after 55, have a slightly increased risk;
  • Breast tissue -- women with dense breast tissue have a higher risk of breast cancer;
  • Race -- white women have a higher risk of developing breast cancer, but African-American women tend to have more aggressive tumours when they do develop breast cancer;
  • Exposure to chest radiation or use of diethylstilbestrol increases the risk of breast cancer;
  • Having no children or the first child after age 30 increases the risk of breast cancer;
  • Being overweight or obese increases the risk of breast cancer;
  • Use of oral contraceptives in the last 10 years increases the risk of breast cancer.

How is Breast Cancer Diagnosed?

The use of screening mammography has made it possible to detect many of the cancers early before they cause any symptoms.


Mammograms are a very good screening tool for breast cancer. The results of the mammogram have limitations and will miss some cancers. The results of your mammogram, breast exam, and family history should be discussed with your health care professional.

How is Breast Cancer Treated?

Patients with breast cancer have many treatment options. Most treatments are adjusted specifically to the type of cancer and the staging group. Treatment modalities are always changing and developing. It is important that you discuss the different options with your health care team.


  • Breast conserving surgery. This will only remove part of the breast. The extent of the surgery is determined by the size and location of the tumor.
  • Mastectomy. All the breast tissue is removed. In this type of surgery, all the breast tissue is removed as well but the overlying skin is preserved.
  • Radical Mastectomy. The surgeon removes the axillary lymph nodes as well as the chest wall muscle in addition to the breast.

After the surgery, the patient needs to undergo radiation therapy, which destroys cancer cells, and chemotherapy. The latter is a treatment of cancers with medications that travel through the bloodstream to the cancer cells. These medications are given either by intravenous injection or by mouth.

Determining breast cancer symptoms from the early stages is extremely important.  This is why all women should undergo a mammogram, a Pap test and an ultrasound.