Thursday, November 29, 2012

Mechanics: The forces of cancer

Erika Jonietz

Hippocrates first used the term 'carcinoma' to describe cancerous tumours more than 2,000 years ago. But until the end of the nineteenth century, doctors knew little about solid tumours other than how much stiffer they were than the surrounding tissue. Even now, one of the most common ways people detect cancer is by discovering a lump. Yet despite the obvious contrast in hardness between a tumour and the surrounding tissue, the differences between their physical properties have largely been overlooked.
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