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Understanding Cancer Research

More than one billion dollars is spent annually in the U.S. on breast cancer research

There are many different types of cancer research that have contributed to our current understanding of the best ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer as well as help survivors manage short- and long-term symptoms and side effects. Basic, or bench, research investigates how cancer cells function. This type of research is done in laboratories, using cells, mice, and rats, and it is typically the first step to developing new cancer treatments. Clinical research studies test new cancer treatments or programs in patients and survivors. Findings from these research studies are the backbone of evidence-based treatments and cancer treatment guidelines. Learning how cancer is studied and how the results from these studies are used may guide decisions you make about your own cancer care, including when and if to enter a clinical trial.

These sections of our website may also be helpful:

How Cancer Develops:
Here you will learn about how normal cells become cancer cells.

Clinical Trials:
Here you can learn about the phases of clinical trials.