World Science Scholars
1.3 Foundations of Cancer
Basic Cancer Research
  • Decades ago, researchers studied viruses in animals and how normal cells become cancer cells due to these viruses.
  • The virus studies identified that mutations occur within a developing cancer.
  • This research was determined to have applicability to humans.
  • Scientists identified three ways that humans acquire mutations: through parental germlines, exposure to environmental factors, and/or if an error is made as DNA copies itself during cell division.
  • Cancer can be controlled through prevention; identifying individuals at high risk for particular cancers and addressing that risk; and screening.
  • Traditional treatment for cancer has depended on surgery, cell damage (chemotherapy), and/or radiotherapy.

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