Northeastern University

Environment and Cancer

The environment, when defined in the broadest sense, is a significant cause of cancer. Not only exposure to pollution can cause cancer, but also exposures associated with diet, occupation, residence and personal habits. Each of these environmental exposures can add to the burden of carcinogens for a person, increasing cancer risk.

ENVIRONMENTAL CANCER RESEARCH PROGRAM
Northeastern University
206 The Fenway
Boston, MA 02115
617.373.3227

Defeating Carcinogens

Defeating carcinogens begins with their detection. Unfortunately, detecting carcinogens is very difficult, especially after they attach to a person’s DNA. But this is where carcinogens most need to be detected. Carcinogens which build up on a person's DNA are actively trying to convert it into cancerous DNA. The Environmental Cancer Research Program is developing ultrasensitive tests, based on mass spectrometry, for detecting and identifying carcinogens on DNA. The tests will become new weapons against cancer.

Treatment and Prevention

Exciting advances are being made in the development of new and better drugs for treating cancer. Nevertheless, anti-cancer drugs too often can help only a little, have side effects, or are expensive. While it is very important to improve the treatment of cancer, best of all is to prevent cancer in the first place. The Environmental Cancer Research Program seeks to help prevent cancer by defeating the carcinogens that cause it.

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