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Epigenetics in Health and Disease by Olga Kovalchuk Ph.D., MD, Igor Kovalchuk Ph.D., MD

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17. Epigenetics of health and disease—cancer

Currently cancer is the second (after cardiovascular disease) leading cause of death in North America, and the number of new cases in the Canadian province of Alberta alone is expected to double to more than 26,000 cases per year by 2025. Worldwide, lung, stomach, liver, colorectal, and breast cancers are the top five types of cancer that cause the most deaths.

What is cancer?

Cancer is a disease involving deregulated cell growth. It arises through a lengthy multistep process that comprises disruption of growth regulatory pathways, resulting in uncontrolled cellular proliferation and altered apoptosis. Carcinogenesis, the process of cancer development, is initiated when a single cell harbors a mutation ...

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