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.