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.

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
  • Understanding DNA makes possible an explanation of such phenomena as the similarities and differences between parents and offspring, hereditary diseases, and the evolution of new species.| AAAS#5B
  • Genes are segments of DNA molecules. Inserting, deleting, or substituting segments of DNA molecules can alter genes. An altered gene may be passed on to every cell that develops from it. The resulting features may help, harm, or have little or no effect on the offspring's success in its environment.| AAAS#5B/H4
  • Tables, graphs, and symbols are alternative ways of representing data and relationships that can be translated from one to another.| AAAS#9B/H4
  • Much can be learned about the internal workings of science and the nature of science from study of individual scientists, their daily work, and their efforts to advance scientific knowledge in their area of study.| NSES#G 3.1