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This chapter in Cancer Concepts: A Guidebook for the Non-Oncologist presents a summary of the most relevant causative agents of cancer. Exposure to many environmental agents is associated with an increased incidence of certain malignancies, although causation is usually difficult to prove. Certain chemicals, infections (parasitic, viral, and bacterial) and ionizing radiation are known carcinogens. Variable genetic susceptibility to carcinogenesis is apparent. Up to 2/3 of human cancers are believed to have an environmental component.


University of Massachusetts Medical School


Worcester, MA


carcinogenesis, carcinogens, environmental factors, infectious agents, radiation, malignancy, cancer


Cancer Biology | Environmental Public Health | Neoplasms | Oncology


2nd edition.

This project has been funded in whole or in part with federal funds from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, under Contract No. HHSN276201100010C with the University of Massachusetts, Worcester.

Environmental and Infectious Causes of Malignancy



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