How do doctors test to see if a chemical causes cancer?



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    Often animals are used (usually rodents) by injecting the animal with the potentially carcinogenic material and seeing if a cancer develops. Other methods are called in vitro, or “in glass,” tests which isolate various animal genes under glass and introduce carcinogenic material to see if there is any damage to the gene. Unfortunately, not all carcinogens act by damaging genes which would render the in vitro tests useless, hence the necessity for animal testing.

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