2.4 Cancer

Learning Outcomes

After completing this module, the student will be able to:

  • Describe the distinguishing features of a cancer.
  • Discuss the mechanism by which cancers evolve.
  • Explain what is meant by “metastasis” and the mechanisms by which it occurs.
  • Explain the difference between the “grade” and the “stage” of a cancer.
  • Discuss risk factors for cancer and strategies for prevention.
  • Define the following terms:
    • Cell differentiation
    • Benign tumor
    • Malignant tumor
    • Dysplasia
    • Carcinogen
    • Proto-oncogene and oncogene,
    • Tumor-suppressor gene (anti-oncogene)
    • Apoptosis

Developed by Wayne W. LaMorte, MD, PhD, MPH, Assistant Dean for Education, Boston University School of Public Health.