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Scientists Working Toward Pinpointing Exposures That Result in Cancer

Scientists Working Toward Pinpointing Exposures That Result ...

Scientists have just developed a way to determine whether environmental exposures were responsible for an individual’s cancer. Mass spectrometry combined with statistical analysis of archived biopsy samples can now help doctors determine whether a specific carcinogen caused the tumor. This will be helpful in determining which chemicals are most dangerous and should be most scrupulously avoided. It may also be hoped that at some point getting this type of detailed information about the origin of a tumor will be useful for physicians figuring out how best to treat it.

 [American Chemical Society’s 246th National Meeting & Exposition, Indianopolis, Sept. 9, 2013]

One type of exposure that we worry about is to a medication that may increase the risk of cancer. It is also helpful to know when food or medicines are able to reduce the risk of cancer, and which tumors are most susceptible to prevention in that manner.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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