About the Course
In this Introduction to the Science of Cancer course, oncologists and researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James) explain the scientific basis of cancer and key concepts in learner-friendly terms. The course is divided into five modules organized to facilitate engaged learning.
In 2012, an estimated 14.1 million people developed cancer, and 8 million people died from it. The number of cancer cases is expected to grow to 22 million over the next 20 years due to the growing and aging of the world population. Cancer treatment can certainly be a challenge for some in high-income countries. However, 60 percent of cancer cases and 70 percent of cancer deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries in Africa, Asia and Central and South America, which have much fewer resources for cancer care. The rising number of cancer cases presents a serious global problem that requires an equally serious commitment to cancer prevention.
The OSUCCC – James offers Introduction to the Science of Cancer to encourage that global commitment to cancer prevention. The course could be helpful to anyone who wants a better understanding of cancer, but further, we hope it will be particularly useful to stakeholders in under-resourced areas, such as medical and nursing students, hospital staff, secondary-school teachers, news reporters and editors, social workers and public health workers. A better understanding of cancer by all could help initiate and promote cancer prevention efforts by both individuals and nations.
Important concepts explored in this course include:
How cancer is not one disease, it is many complex diseases
How many cancers are preventable
How preventing cancer helps prevent heart disease, hypertension and diabetes
Why healthy cells turn cancerous
The main types of cancer
The differences between childhood and adult cancers
How cancer is treated
Responding to the psychological stress of cancer
How genomics is changing cancer diagnosis and treatment
What the different imaging technologies show
The promising field of epigenetics and cancer
How targeted and immune therapies work
The importance of vaccination and screening for preventing cancer
How basic, clinical and other types of research improve cancer care
Module One : What is Cancer
Anatomy of a cell
DNA, genes and mutations
Module Two : Diagnosis of Cancer
Module Three : Treatment of Cancer
Module Four : Prevention of Cancer
Heredity and cancer
Module Five : Cancer Research
Epidemiology and population science research
All that is needed to take this course is an interest in gaining a solid understanding of cancer – its causes, prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
Each module will feature readings provided in the course.
The class will consist of short video lectures presented by Ohio State University cancer physicians and researchers. This course will feature readings including articles from Frontiers, Ohio State’s cancer research magazine.
Learners planning to complete the course will be required to complete one project-based peer-evaluated assignment and each of the module quizzes.
Will I get a statement of accomplishment after completing this class?
Yes. Students who successfully complete the class will receive a statement of accomplishment.
Will the information provided in this course help me avoid seeing my doctor?
No. The content of this course is for general informational purposes only and not meant as a substitute to the medical advice provided by your doctor or physician.