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CANCER. CANCER DOCUMENTARY, TUTORIALS, & GAMES: FACTS. 1 in 3 people will contract cancer, and of those, 1 in 4 will die from the disease. Within 5 years, cancer will surpass heart disease as the leading cause of death.

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  • 1 in 3 people will contract cancer, and of those, 1 in 4 will die from the disease.
  • Within 5 years, cancer will surpass heart disease as the leading cause of death.
  • Since 1950, the overall cancer incidence has increased by 44 percent.
    • Breast cancer and male colon cancer increased by about 60 %
    • Testis, prostate and kidney cancer increased by 100 %
    • Other cancers, such as malignant skin cancer and some lymphomas, also increased by over 100 %.


  • The rates of certain types of cancer among some industrial workers are up to 10 times higher than in the general population.
    • Children of workers handling chemical carcinogens have sharply increase cancer rates.
    • For example, the risks of childhood leukemia are increased two-to-five-fold if, during their mother's pregnancies, their fathers worked with spray paints, dyes or pigments.
  • Some 75 percent of all cancers develop in those over 55, but notable exceptions include childhood leukemia, testicular and brain cancers - which mainly strike young people and have been increasing at an alarming rate, particularly among peak age groups
    • For example, there has been an approximate 300 percent increase in testicular cancer among those aged 25-34 since the 1950s.

Expected Learning Outcomes

Fl. Describe cancer with respect to (p. 518): abnormal nuclei, disorganized and uncontrolled growth (anaplasia), lack of contact inhibition, vascularization, and metastasis.

F2. List the seven danger signals that may indicate the presence of Cancer

F3. Differentiate between a proto-oncogene & an oncogene (p. 520)

F4. Use examples to outline the roles of initiators and promoters in carcinogenesis.

F5. Demonstrate a knowledge of how a virus can bring about cancer.



_____ Mutagen

_____ Neoplasia

_____ Oncogene

_____ Promotor

_____ Protooncogene

_____ Retrovirus

_____ Tadpole nucleus

_____ Tumour

_____ Vascularization

_____ Anaplasia

_____ Benign

_____ Carcinogen

_____ Carcinogenesis

_____ Carcinoma

_____ Contact inhibition

_____ Initiator

_____ Malignant

_____ Metastasis





It is not (usually) caused by a pathogenand it does not have one set of symptoms.


Uncontrolled Cell Growth

  • Normal cells grow at a slow and steady pace.
  • When a cell has an quick and uncontrolled rate of cell division (once every 3 hours) it has no time to differentiate in to cells with specific jobs.
  • These cells are useless and have no function, but they still need nutrients and oxygen. They steal these from the rest of the body.
  • If this remains unchecked, it will result in the death of the organism.
  • 15 to 20% of all deaths in North America are due to cancer.

The Development of Cancer

  • A normal cell becomes a cancer cell due to a genetic change or MUTATION.
  • This is caused by either:
  • Mutagen: any substance or thing that induces mutations in cells.
  • Carcinogens: any substance or thing that produces a mutation that results in a cell becoming cancerous.
  • Not all carcinogens will cause cancers in all people all of the time. Different people must have variable ‘susceptibility’ to cancer.

The Development of Cancer

PROTO-ONCOGENES are normal genes in the body involved in controlling cell division.

When they are functioning normally, they are genes that either tell a cell to divide OR tell a cell to stop dividing.

However, a mutation in one of these genes can change the proto-oncogene in to an oncogene (cancer gene).




The Development of Cancer

Things that can mutate proto-oncogenes to oncogenes are called INITIATORS.

In some cases a change/mutation in a single base pair can cause this to happen.

Initiators are mutagens and carcinogens. They can be chemicals, radiation, poor diet, etc.





The Development of Cancer

  • Initiators are classified in four ways:
  • Carcinogens: radiation or chemicals in the environment can cause mutation (i.e.: smoking)
  • Chromosome mutation can happen normally during cell division (i.e.: deletion, addition, inversion)
  • Transfection: exchange of DNA from one cell to another
  • Viral: a retrovirus can either:
    • Introduce an oncogene in to the DNA.
    • Introduce a piece of genetic material into a proto-oncogene, thus mutating it.
  • * Cooperation: Sometimes two or more oncogenes are required to work together (cooperatively) in order to become cancerous.

The Development of Cancer

An oncogene may not immediately turn into cancer.

There may need to be another external agent called a PROMOTER.

It is the promoter that “turns on” the oncogene, resulting in cancer.







The Development of Cancer

Once you have Cancer, there are 4 Stages in its Development: Step 1) Neoplasia - non differentiated cell division


The Development of Cancer

Step 2) Anaplasia - disorganised growth (start of tumour)


The Development of Cancer

Step 3) Vascularization - growth factors are released by the tumour to promote nearby vessels to branch out so blood vessels will grow into the tumour.

This provides the fast growing cells of the tumour with more nutrients and O2.


The Development of Cancer

Step 4) Metastasis - cells break off from tumor, spread & cause new tumors.

Metastasis is the major mode of spreading cancer and usually moves through the Circulatory or Lymphatic system.


These are both thin walled vessels that reach everywhere in the body. Cancer cells can easily penetrate the thin walls & then be transported in the vessels.


Part 1:






Part 2:






Mild Anaplasia

Normal cells


Moderate Anaplasia

Severe Anaplasia



Large Tumours


Characteristics of Cancer Cells

  • Grow and divide rapidly.
  • Have Mutated DNA(in cell division genes). It is believed that cancer is started by multiple DNA mutations, either from toxic triggers, introductions from a virus, or natural random errors.
  • Enlarged in size: the nucleus is enlarged and often has an irregular shape.
  • Lack differentiation: like stem cells, they have no function.
  • They lack CONTACT INHIBITION. Cancer cells do not stop growing when they touch other cells.
  • Form tumours: masses of cells on top of each other.

normal tissue

cancerous tissue


Characteristics of Cancer Cells

  • 7. No cell-to-cell junctions: whereas normal cells attach together firmly to form tissues, cancer cells do not stick to each other. They are easily dislodged from each other.
  • 8. Cancer cells have the ability to metastasize. They move to other parts of the body and grow into tumours wherever they go.
  • Cancer cells continue to divide even when they are separated or isolated
  • Vascularization: cancerous tumours can stimulate the circulatory system to grow new blood vessels in to the tumour. In this way the cancer cells steal nutrients and oxygen from the rest of they body.

Characteristics of Cancer Cells

Angiogenesis: the growth of new blood vessels in to a tumour.


Types of Tumours

  • There are two types of tumours:
  • Benign tumour:
  • Non-cancerous
  • Does not spread
  • Generally harmless (ie: moles, warts, etc…)
  • 2. Malignant (cancerous) tumour:
  • These cells that lack ‘contact inhibition’ and form into lumps and tumours
  • They can metastasize

7 Danger Signs of Cancer

  • A change in bowel or bladder habits
  • A sore that does not heal
  • Unusual bleeding or discharges
  • A thickening lump in the breast or elsewhere on the body
  • Indigestion or difficulty in swallowing
  • Obvious changes in a wart or mole
  • A nagging cough or hoarseness


  • There appears to be a genetic predisposition to getting cancer.
  • You are more likely to contact the disease if close family members have also had it.
  • For example, with breast cancer, 2 genes have been identified so far (in 1996) that if a particular mutation is present in either gene, a woman is 80% more likely to develop breast cancer.

Genetic Mapping Determine Cancer Risk:


Risks for Cancer

  • Smoking: Tobacco use is the cause of an estimated 30% of fatal cancers in Canada and is the overwhelming cause of lung cancer;
  • Poor diet: At least 20% of cancer deaths are linked to a poor diet - including consumption of alcohol.
    • Eat fruits and veggies (8 servings). Eat lots of fibre to flush out the toxins.
    • Limit red meat, processed meat, saturated fats.
    • Sunlight: Skin cancer is the most commonly occurring cancer. One of the main causes of skin cancer is exposure to the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays.
  • Others:
    • Chemicals in our workplace, on our food, in our cleaning products, plastics, cooking tools (teflon), beauty products and environment etc…
    • Radiation in our workplace and environment.
    • Viral infections (HPV), and reproductive patterns (ie: breast feeding before age 30).

Blood Cancer



Breast Cancer Facts

Here are some interesting breast cancer statistics:• About 1.2 million cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed this year worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.• About 75% of breast cancers are found in women over age 50.• The chance of having breast cancer for a woman in her fifties is about 1 in 50.• The chance of having breast cancer for a woman in her nineties is about 1 in 9.• About 80% of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history of breast cancer.• Men also get breast cancer, however, men account for less than one percent of all breast cancer cases.


Cervical Cancer

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incidence of mortality

due to cancer in men


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