Biological Screening as A Laboratory Aid in Determining Cancer Aetiology

  • I. F. H. Purchase
  • H. J. B. Joubert


Epidemiological studies aimed at elucidating the cause of cancer have been undertaken in the past and are currently being undertaken in many areas in the world. These studies attempt to define a relationship between the distribution pattern of the cancer and that of a given agent suspected of being aetiologically associated with the cancer. There are, however, many drawbacks to this approach. In the first place epidemiological studies can only provide evidence on the existence or non-existence of a relationship between the cancer and the aetiological agent; conclusive proof can never be obtained. Secondly, cancer of a particular organ, although because of a consistent histological picture it is often considered as a disease entity in itself, may merely be the common end result of the individual or combined action of a number of different aetiological agents.


Liver Lesion Oesophageal Cancer Aetiological Agent Mineral Deficiency Biological Screening 


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Copyright information

© South African Medical Research Council 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. F. H. Purchase
    • 1
  • H. J. B. Joubert
    • 2
  1. 1.National Institute for Nutritional Diseases South African Medical Research CouncilSouth Africa
  2. 2.Division of ToxicologyNational Institute for Nutritional Diseases South African Medical Research CouncilSouth Africa

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