How to Become a Cancer Researcher

A Cancer Researcher’s professional life revolves around Cancer: a disease caused by the abnormal reproduction of a single cell.

Cancer Researchers are medically trained professionals that investigate specific cases of the disease in order to understand it and its behavior better.

Cancer Researchers are considered medical scientists.

These scientific professionals research ways to prevent the disease, look for the causes and work towards the goal of eradicating it.

Cancer Researchers will also analyze a variety of medical applications or formulate a drug combination that will help ease or eradicate cancer’s existence.

The majority of these professionals work in research labs at hospitals and universities.

Some are also hired by corporations in the private sector and work for biotechnology or pharmaceutical companies.

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Those who want to become a Cancer Researcher require extensive training and education.

Some sought after skills include having great skills in both writing and conversational communication.

Some Cancer Researchers spend a lot of their time writing grants and proposals for fundraising in order for their institution to continue its researching efforts.

Education Requirements to Become a Cancer Researcher

In order to become a Cancer Researcher, a candidate requires an extensive educational and professional background.

Cancer Researchers typically have a medical doctoral degree (M.D.) or a Ph.D.

in Biological Science.

Candidates with both a Ph.D.

and an M.D.

will have more opportunities and are more likely to get hired.

Students who choose this route can seek both Ph.D.

and M.D.

degrees by getting into a dual degree program at an accredited university or college.

The first step however, is to attend an accredited four year institution to earn a Bachelor’s Degree.

As an undergraduate, someone who wants to become a Cancer Researcher should focus on a scientific track in order to prepare themselves for graduate school.

Students should also strengthen many other traits and ought to take classes in writing, mathematics, physics and computer science.

Having strong writing skills will help a candidate prepare for writing grants, proposals and providing any research results they find.

Helpful majors include:

  • Biology
  • Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
  • Biological Science

Once students are finished with their undergraduate degrees, they can choose from a handful of routes in order to become a Cancer Researcher.

These routes include enrolling into the following programs:

  • Ph.D.

    in the Biological Sciences: This track typically takes six years to complete.

    Students can specialize in Oncology or Biological Sciences.

    Candidates with a Ph.D.

    do not treat patients unless they have an M.D.

    to supplement their background.

  • M.D.

    this is a medical degree in which the professional is trained and prepared to directly treat patients.

    However, these candidates can opt to not become licensed physicians and can choose to research instead of a career in clinical practice.

  • Joint M.D.- Ph.D.

    Program: A lot of educational institutions offer dual degrees with the hopes of having students focus on two tracks simultaneously.

    An M.D.-Ph.D.

    normally takes 7 to 8 years to complete.

    Students will learn both the clinical aspects of being a Physician and the researching skills needed to do scientific research

Cancer Researcher Job Description

Cancer Researchers spend their time researching new ways to prevent and treat cancer.

They can work for private institutions such as pharmaceutical companies, universities or nonprofit organizations.

They perform their research in laboratories using certain samples of cancer in order to determine how it acts and what kind of treatments it responds to.

Several clinical trials are needed in order to determine the treatment’s effectiveness and efficiency.

Cancer Researchers working for nonprofit or educational institutions may also perform fundraising efforts in order to accumulate money for further research.

They use the information they have gathered during their research to use as data in their proposals to enthrall potential donors.

Cancer Researcher Salary and Career Path

Candidates with a dual Ph.D.

and M.D.

background are more likely to be competitive in the field.

The research sector is expected to grow faster than average at approximately 40% throughout the next decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Salary and wages depends on the sector a Cancer Researcher works in with drug merchants paying an average of approximately $90,600 annually.

Education institutes pay the lowest wages at approximately $52,800.

These are averages for all Medical Scientists including Cancer Researchers.

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