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Resources on Cancer

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Cancer is a terrible disease that affects more than 200 000 Canadians every year. There are hundreds different types, attacking different parts of the human body. All cancers happen when our cell's replication system doesn't work properly. This cause our cells to grow out of control. Cancerous tumors are made from those defective cells. How this happens is not always clear.

People can reduce their risk of cancer by avoiding known carcinogenic (cancer-causing) elements such as prolonged exposure to the Sun, smoking and some chemical products. Cancer can also have a genetic basis, so knowing your family's history of cancer is important. We still do not know as much about cancer as we would like, which makes it hard to predict when and how it will strike.

Current available treatments include chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immunotherapy. The choice on the best treatment depends in the type of cancer, its stage and the health of the patient. However, there is still lots of work needed before we can find better solutions for detecting, preventing and treating cancers. This is why so many scientists and researchers are working hard every day across the country, saving lives behind the scenes.

Below you will find some Let’s Talk Science resources to help you learn more about cancer.

Articles & Backgrounders

People with cancer and their caregivers

Why Do So Many People Get Cancer?

We all know someone who has been affected by cancer. What causes cancer? Why is it getting more common?
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Why Do So Many People Get Cancer?

T cells and cancer cells - Image © Meletios Verras, iStockPhoto.com

Can Your Own Cells Cure Cancer?

When a person has cancer, CAR-T Therapy uses their own cells to destroy the cancer cells in their body.
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Can Your Own Cells Cure Cancer?

Electrical power lines near a home

Does Living Near High-Voltage Power Lines Cause Cancer?

Learn about the risks of electromagnetic radiation near high-voltage power lines.
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Does Living Near High-Voltage Power Lines Cause Cancer?

Researcher with automation equipment

Helping Patients through Drug Discovery

Learn how researchers from Amgen are developing new drugs for cancer.
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Helping Patients through Drug Discovery

Medical image of the brain using Technetium-99m

Innovations in Nuclear Technologies

Learn about why Canada is a world leader in nuclear technology.
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Innovations in Nuclear Technologies

Damage to DNA

Radiation Effects on Cells & DNA

This backgrounder explains the effects of radiation on cells and DNA.
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Radiation Effects on Cells & DNA

 

Patient about to enter a CT scanner

Computed Tomography

Learn about the history, function, uses, benefits and risks of computed tomography (CT) as a medical imaging technology.
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Computed Tomography

Gamma ray image of the Milky Way taken by NASA’s Fermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope (NASA)

Gamma Rays: Helper or Hazard?

Gamma rays might make you think of cancer, harmful radiation or superheroes. But gamma rays have lots of uses: food safety, manufacturing and even medicine!
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Gamma Rays: Helper or Hazard?

Beamline Assembly at TRIUMF

Exploring Canada’s Particle Accelerators

Particle accelerators have amazing applications - from growing food to making airplanes safe.
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Exploring Canada’s Particle Accelerators

Careers


Learning about the professionals involved is ideal to establish relations between STEM studies and skills, and the real world. Below are some suggested career profiles to show the variety of people working in cancer research.

 

Teaching Resources

Questions for Discussion with Students

  1. What is cancer?
  2. What causes cancer?
  3. Why is it so hard to find a cure for cancer?
  4. What treatments are currently available?
  5. What do you know about HPV and its vaccine?

Questions for Discussion with Students

  1. What is cancer?
  2. What causes cancer?
  3. Why is it so hard to find a cure for cancer?
  4. What treatments are currently available?
  5. What do you know about HPV and its vaccine?

Teaching Suggestions

  • You can use the KWL: What I Know, What I Want to Know, and What I Learned Learning Strategy to introduce the topic.

  • Initial discussion

    • Using the questions above, discuss the topics with students. This can be done in the classroom or online, you can also have an asynchronous discussion by using a collaborative platform in which students can share their thoughts and opinions on the different questions. This option gives more space for introvert expression.

  • Articles

    • Teaching suggestions for can be found  at the bottom of each of the articles. Learning strategies can also be used with the suggested videos.

Teaching Suggestions

  • You can use the KWL: What I Know, What I Want to Know, and What I Learned Learning Strategy to introduce the topic.

  • Initial discussion

    • Using the questions above, discuss the topics with students. This can be done in the classroom or online, you can also have an asynchronous discussion by using a collaborative platform in which students can share their thoughts and opinions on the different questions. This option gives more space for introvert expression.

  • Articles

    • Teaching suggestions for can be found  at the bottom of each of the articles. Learning strategies can also be used with the suggested videos.