Causes, Overview

This section reviews how epidemiologists look for cancer "hot spots" - regions with high cancer rates.

Educational standards - statements

  • Gene mutation in a cell can result in uncontrolled division called cancer. Exposure of cells to certain chemicals and radiation increases mutations and thus the chance of cancer.| AAAS#5C/H6
  • The genetic information encoded in DNA molecules provides instructions for assembling protein molecules.| AAAS#5C/H4a
  • Changes in DNA (mutations) occur spontaneously at low rates. Some of these changes make no difference to the organism, whereas others can change cells and organisms. Only mutations in germ cells can create the variation that changes an organism's offsprin| NSES#C 2.3
  • Toxic substances, some dietary habits, and some personal behavior may be bad for one's health. Some effects show up right away, others years later. Avoiding toxic substances, such as tobacco, and changing dietary habits increase the chance of living longer.| AAAS#6E/M2
  • Many diseases can be prevented, controlled, or cured. Some diseases, such as cancer, result from specific body dysfunctions and cannot be transmitted.| NSES#F 1.2
  • [Students] can consider personal and social consequences of individual choices in health (sexual activity, immunization)| AAAS#7D
  • Personal choice concerning fitness and health involves multiple factors. Personal goals, peer and social pressures, ethnic and religious beliefs, and understanding of biological consequences can all influence decisions about health practices.| NSES#F 1.3
  • Tables, graphs, and symbols are alternative ways of representing data and relationships that can be translated from one to another.| AAAS#9B/H4