2.1 Causes of Cancer

This lesson provides an overview of the environmental and genetic factors that can cause cancer. Some questions to consider while completing this lesson include:

  • What causes cancer?
  • What are examples of external causes of cancer?
  • How was the linkage between chemicals and cancer proven?

Learning Objectives

  • Explain what factors can cause cancer
  • Describe how workplace chemicals played a role in our understanding of cancer and its causes
  • Cite the three main environmental factors that can lead to cancer development 

Video Tutorial

Presented By: Kristianna Fredenburg

Practice Assessment

Instructions: After watching the video tutorial, complete the following practice assessment. Choose the best answer for each question, and check your response for immediate feedback.

Reflection Questions

The reflection questions are meant to support your understanding of the topic and give you an opportunity to reflect about the topic based on your own individual perspectives. There are no right or wrong answers.

  • Is the topic of causes of cancer new to you?
  • Did anything in the video stand out to you?
  • How did it make you feel?

Additional Resources

Common Cancer Types
From the National Cancer Institute (NCI), this page offers a look at the most common types of cancers in the United States, as well as the estimated number of new cases and deaths per year. Each type of cancer links to a separate page that gives more information specific to that cancer, including causes, treatment, and screening information.