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Explaining Cancer – Finding Order in Disorder - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Explaining Cancer: Finding Order in Disorder

Anya Plutynski


Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the world. Almost everyone’s life is in some way or other affected by cancer. Yet, when faced with a cancer diagnosis, many of us will confront questions we had never before considered: Is cancer one disease, or many? If many, how many exactly? How is cancer classified? What does it mean, exactly, to say that cancer is “genetic,” or “familial”? What exactly are the causes of cancer, and how do scientists come to know about them? When do we have good reason to believe that this or that is a risk factor for cancer? These questions are (in part) empi ... More

Keywords: cancer, classification, evidence, explanation, causation, disease, evolution, medicine, modeling, risk

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780199967452
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2018 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780199967452.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Anya Plutynski, author
Associate Professor, Washington University in St. Louis