The Four Fields of Research
In order to fully conquer this devastating disease, we as advocates and members of
the general public, need to encourage innovative scientists to study cancer at its
most fundamental level. To eradicate cancer, research in diverse fields needs to be
The more we understand the research process, the more support we can bring to
those carrying out this research.
We will begin our discussion on how research is studied by naming the four primary
fields of study in research. Later in this section, we will go into much more depth so
you have a working knowledge about each field and the role it plays.
As we move in our discussion topics from left to right on the arrow schematic
below, (from basic research to epidemiology), we increase the relevance of the
research performed in that field to people. Both clinical and epidemiological
research directly involves people.
However, each type of research is informed by research done in the field shown to
the left in this visual. To a lesser extent, there are insights from more applied
research (the areas on the right) that inform basic research. In other words
knowledge learned loops back. More than 100,000 scientists and clinicians
worldwide are engaged in some aspect of cancer research.