Reflecting on the Impacts of Science: Cancer
What is Cancer

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brief, basic information laid out in an easy-to-read format. May use informal language. (Includes most news articles)


provides additional background information and further reading. Introduces some subject-specific language.


lengthy, detailed information. Frequently uses technical/subject-specific language. (Includes most analytical articles)



This research guide has been developed for students reflecting on the impact of science; it explores how science is aiding in the detection and treatment of cancer.


Cancer is a generic term for a large group of diseases that can affect any part of the body. Other terms used are malignant tumours and neoplasms. One defining feature of cancer is the rapid creation of abnormal cells that grow beyond their usual boundaries, and which can then invade adjoining parts of the body and spread to other organs, the latter process is referred to as metastasizing. Metastases are the major cause of death from cancer.

 (WHO, 2015)

What is Cancer?

 TWIG. (n.d.). What is cancer? [Video file]. Retrieved from

What is Cancer?

Senior Library Books

Cancer and DNA Damage

Anderson, P. (2014, April 12). What is cancer? [Video File]. Bozeman Science

Summary: In this video Paul Andersen answers the very simple question: What is cancer? He explains how damage to the DNA can create uncontrolled cell growth. He explains how malignant tumors can spread the disease throughout the body and gives possible treatments.

Stages of Cancer

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