This website will provide access to the chapters of the Cancer Concepts textbook. The Cancer Concepts course is part of the Foundations of Medicine I and Foundations of Medicine II curriculum at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Cancer Concepts is a case-based course that features a combination of lectures and small group sessions covering the basic pathophysiology of malignancy. Each “cancer concept” is introduced or related back to one or more specific clinical cases. Students discuss assigned readings and participate in virtual laboratories, offering high-resolution digitized pathology “slides” and three-dimensional anatomic displays of various malignancies to understand cancer at the cellular, tissue, organ and organism levels. Introductions are provided to the three clinical disciplines of oncology (radiation oncology, surgical oncology and medical oncology) as well as the epidemiology and societal implications of cancer.
The textbook is a work in progress and new book chapters will be added regularly.
List of Cancer Concepts chapters:
Imaging is an integral part of the multidisciplinary management of cancer. Radiographic techniques are indispensible for proper staging of cancers and evaluation of the response of tumors to treatment. A wide variety of imaging modalities is available to clinicians. This chapter in the Cancer Concepts textbook will introduce the role of radiology in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
Epidemiology is the study of populations using defined research methods to confirm the patterns and causes of disease and applying this information to improve the health of the populations. This branch of science is the basis for understanding the spread of diseases in a defined area or group of people. Epidemiologic studies have been instrumental in improving outcomes by establishing preventive and therapeutic measures for the incidence, prevalence and mortality from cancers. The incidence of malignancy in a country or in our world defines the magnitude of the cancer problem. This chapter in the Cancer Concepts textbook will introduce the role of epidemiology in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
Beverly N. Hay
While the majority of cancers are not inherited, there are a number of well described collections of cancers that occur within families. These cancer syndromes were initially identified based on observation of the family history and subsequently the molecular mechanisms have been elucidated. This chapter in the Cancer Concepts textbook is intended to allow the reader to recognize when a pattern of cancers occurs in an individual or their family, and to generate an investigation into potential cancer syndromes. With the rapidly expanding understanding of the molecular basis of cancers at the cellular and constitutional levels, appropriate preventive care may be offered and tailored treatment holds great promise.