Cancer arises when cells are unable to repair DNA damage and experience abnormal cell growth and division. The process known as metastasis occurs when cancer cells travel to other parts of the body via the bloodstream and replace normal tissue. According to the American Cancer Society, this chronic disease is the second leading cause of death in the U.S. with half of all men and one-third of all women developing some form of cancer during their lifetimes.
Although cancer is responsible for 23% of all deaths in the U.S., millions of Americans have recovered from the disease. People may reduce their chances of getting cancer by employing prevention methods such as having regular screenings and living a healthy lifestyle.
The NIEHS is committed to understanding the connection between genetics and environmental exposures with regard to cancer. In addition to several Division of Intramural Research (DIR) groups studying the molecular mechanisms behind the disease, the NIEHS funds cancer research at other institutions.
- In Small Doses: Arsenic - a 10 min. video about the risks of arsenic exposure in private well water
- Of Mice and Women: Modeling Breast Cancer and the Environment - Scientific Glossary (PDF)
NIEHS Research Efforts
- Climate Change and Human Health
- DNA Replication Fidelity: DNA Damage & Repair
- Epigenetics and Stem Cell Biology Laboratory
- Molecular Endocrinology: Glucocorticoid Receptors and the Immune System
- Oceans of Discovery: How the study of oceans and lakes can improve people's health(1004KB)
NIEHS Press Releases
Stories from the Environmental Factor
- Skin cancer risk depended on trigger for DNA repair
- Five viruses are known human carcinogens, say NTP peer review
- Is cancer mainly bad luck? NIEHS scientists respond
- Walker delivers one-two punch for chemotherapy and antibiotics
- Exposure to low levels of chemical mixtures linked with cancer
- Exposome research highlighted at Duke symposium
Other NIEHS programs, projects, and initiatives
- 14th Report on Carcinogens
- A Human Health Perspective on Climate Change (Full Report)(4MB)
- Aristolochic Acids(229KB)
- Cancer-Causing Viruses(1MB)
- Certain Glass Wool Fibers (Inhalable)(575KB)
- Cobalt and Cobalt Compounds That Release Cobalt Ions In Vivo(990KB)
- National Toxicology Program: Report on Carcinogens (RoC)
- Profile: Report on Carcinogens: Captafol
- Profile: Report on Carcinogens: Cobalt-Tungsten Carbide: Powders & Hard Metals
- Profile: Report on Carcinogens: o-Nitrotolulene
- Profile: Report on Carcinogens: Riddelliine
- Questions and Answers about the RoC
- The 14th Edition of the Report on Carcinogens(853KB)
- The Interagency Working Group on Climate Change and Health(1MB)
- Cancer.gov - The National Cancer Institute's portal to information on the types of cancer, treatment options, methods for coping with cancer, support groups, screening and testing and prevention measures.
- Cancer and the Environment(699KB)
- Cancer News on the Net - Dedicated to bringing patients and their families the latest news and information on cancer diagnosis, treatment and prevention.
- CDC Tips from Former Smokers Campaign (Tips): A national campaign to help people quit smoking
- Gene Toxicity and Cancer
- Healthy People
- Household Products Database: Health Effects
- OncoLink - Good starting resource for information on the types of cancer, treatment options, coping with cancer, clinical trials, and bibliography of books, music and videotapes on cancer.
- Talking Glossary of Genetic Terms: Apoptosis
- Talking Glossary of Genetic Terms: Cancer
- Talking Glossary of Genetic Terms: Complex Disease
- Talking Glossary of Genetic Terms: Carcinogen
- Talking Glossary of Genetic Terms: Tumor Suppressor Gene
- Talking Glossary of Genetic Terms: Mutation
- Talking to Your Doctor - Resources from NIH