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Flashcards in Introduction to Cancer Deck (14)
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When was cancer first described?

described in writings from ancient civilisations, therefore it is not a modern disease.
Hippocrates was the first to state that cancer was caused by natural causes


How can cancer be caused?

Caused by genetic and environmental factors.
It is referred to as cancer houses, cancer families and cancer villages


What is the difference between cells in normal tissue compared to tumours?

In normal tissue every cell is born from another cell as stated by virchow.
Tumours cells will continue to accumulate beyond normal levels of growth. Go beyond replacement of cells in renewing tissues such as skin and intestine


What is cancer described as ?

It is a cellular disease in which there is loss of normal control of cell proliferation


What are the different techniques for studying cancer ?

Animal experiments
Molecular genetics


What are some examples of epidemiology studies ?

Mormons of salt lake city- they are relatively inbred so genetic aspects can be looked at
Migrant groups- helpful for looking at environmental factors
Also through epidemiological studies it was demonstrated that smoking causes cancer and after this it was discovered that carcinogens are the substance causing cancer


What happens to the cells in cancer?

They undergo series of genetic mutations, and these can be brought about by different ways.
Cells dont respond normally in intracellular and extracellular signals that control proliferation, differentiation and cell death


How many genetic alterations can occur in cancers?

Different types of cancers have different amounts of mutations, but they can range between 2 to at least 6 and it is thought that further changes occur throughout the disease to increase malignancy


What is the link between cancer and age ?

As you get older your risk of cancer increases.
- females are at higher risk compared to males up until 45-54 years but then the risk becomes less than males which is likely due to changes in hormones levels which are protective


What was one of the first scientific studies of cancer ?

1775- sir percival pott- epidemiological study
Noticed that young men in their 20s that were chimney sweeps when they were younger had a high rate of scrotal cancer due to the exposure to soot
Therefore he suggested that it was important to frequently wash and change clothes


What were some fundamental findings demonstrated by Sir Percival Pott?

Showed that soot was a carcinogenic agent
Showed that cancer can develop years after exposure to a carcingenic agent
Showed that the development of cancer is NOT inevitable


What is the link between fruit and vegetables in cancer ?

Epidemiological studies have suggested that a greater consumption of fruit and veg will reduce the risk of developing cancer- the understanding behind this is very poor


Why is it difficult to determine the causes of cancer?

Observing the causes of cancer is challenging because the background is always changing
e.g rates of obesity have drastically changed over the years therefore it is difficult to compare generations of people from different decades


What is cancer made up of ?

it is made up of all different diseases so different cancers will require different treatments and different cures