Full course description

Course Date:



5 weeks


2 hrs/week



Course Type:





Cancer strikes individuals, affects families and causes economic hardship. The burden of cancer will rise globally in coming years due to a growing, aging world population.

As people gain a better understanding of cancer - how it is diagnosed, treated, prevented and studied - they are more likely to take steps to lower the risk of cancer for themselves, their families and their communities. Helping people achieve a deeper understanding of cancer can also lead to improved care for cancer patients.

While this open course is designed to be accessible to those with limited knowledge of science, it will also be useful to healthcare professionals with a limited background in the field of cancer.


By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • Define what cancer is.
  • Describe how cancer is formed in the body.
  • Describe how cancer is commonly diagnosed and treated.
  • Explain the links between various lifestyle choices and hereditary conditions that are potential risk factors for cancer.
  • Detail various methods of cancer prevention.
  • Explain the cancer research process in the United States.

Target Audience: Anyone interested in, or impacted by cancer, high school STEM students, life long learners, healthcare professionals.

Course is offered by The Ohio State University Global One Health Initiative.

Course Instructors

Darrell Ward

Darrell Ward


Darrell E. Ward, MS, is a science writer and the editor of Frontiers, the research magazine for The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James). He has written about cancer research at Ohio State for 25 years.