Causes and Prevention
- Causes, Overview
This section reviews how epidemiologists look for cancer "hot spots" - regions with high cancer rates.
- Causes, Smoking, all sections
This section explains that lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States and it is almost entirely preventable, since the vast majority of cases are due to cigarette smoking.
- Causes, Smoking: Tobacco history
This section reviews the history of the tobacco plant Nicotiana rustica which grows wild in the Americas.
- Causes, Smoking: Lung cancer epidemic
This section covers the smoking epidemic in the U.S. and the 163,000 Americans that die each year from lung cancer, which is greater than deaths caused by prostate, breast, colon, and pancrease cancers combined.
- Causes, Smoking: Killers in smoke
In this section the suspected cancer-causing agents (carcinogens) - including polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), nitrosamines, and heavy metals found in cigarettes will be introduced.
- Causes, Smoking: "Smoking gun"
This section reviews K-ras and p53, two genes most frequently mutated in smoking-related lung cancers, one tar component, benzo[a]pyrene, is specifically linked to known mutations in these genes.
- Causes, Smoking: K-ras
This section explains how the protein produced by the K-ras gene is a tumor “activator.”
- Causes, Smoking: p53
This series of animations shows how mutations in the p53 gene are found in 70% of lung tumors, the highest rate for any cancer.
- Causes, Smoking: Nicotine connection
Nicotine has long been known to be the habit-forming drug in cigareette smoke, but recent research shows that nicotine also works with other components of smoke to promote cancer formation.
- Causes, Smoking: Prevention
In this section learn about the interventions and research being carried out to control cancer.
- Causes, Inheritance
All cancers are genetic, in that cancers are caused by genetic mutations in genes that lead to malignancy.
- Causes, Inheritance: Cancer gene types
This section identifies that a cancer gene alters the normal functioning of a protein, and there are three major categories of cancer genes.
- Causes, Inheritance: Colon cancer
Familial colon cancer was long thought to be inherited; however a complete understanding of its causes awaited the discovery that specific genetic mutations confer a large increase in susceptibility to these types of cancers.
- Causes, Inheritance: Many steps to cancer
In Familial Adenomatous Polyposis, a complex cascade of events leads from an initial mutation in a “gatekeeper” gene, eventually to a malignant tumor.
- Causes, Diet
In order to identify cancer causes and prevention strategies, researchers conduct a cohort of studies where they collect information from large groups of individuals over many years.
- Causes, Diet: Diet and cancer
In this section learn how diet can contribute and or be linked to the development of prostate cancer.
- Causes, Diet: Cause
Meat cooked at high temperatures can produce chemicals that are damaging to cells and DNA.
- Causes, Diet: Prevention
In addition to enzymes produced by the body, certain components in food can also react with damaging chemicals, and an increased consumption of these foods may lower a person’s risk of cancer development.
- Causes, mold
Aflatoxin, a byproduct of molds, is a potent cancer-causing agent. Long-term exposure to aflatoxin has been linked to increased incidence of liver cancer.
- Causes, Mold: Aflatoxin
In this section learn how Aflatoxin a contaminating byproduct of mold caused liver cancer in animals and solicited strict guidelines to regulate the levels of Aflatoxin in the U.S. food supply today.
- Causes, Mold: Incidence
Mold-contaminated crops can be a serious problem especially in countries where proper storage facilities are limited.
- Causes, Mold: Aflatoxin action
Aflatoxin causes DNA damage and with prolonged exposure to aflatoxin, cells accumulate DNA mutations and thus are at increased risk of developing into cancer cells.
- Causes, Mold: Prevention
In this section learn about inexpensive and safe substances being investigated that may decrease the risk of liver cancer.
- Causes, Viruses: HPV
In this section learn how viruses contribute to cancer development.
- Causes, Viruses: HPV and cell cycle
Professor Harlow explains that over the years, we have learned that the cell cycle can easily be divided in a couple of major decision points or action points where cells specifically do a series of necessary tasks.
- Causes, Sunlight
In this section learn that ultraviolet (UV) radiation in sunlight is the major cause to skin cancer.