Spring 2021 - HSCI 211 E100

Perspectives on Cancer, Cardiovascular, and Metabolic Diseases (3)

Class Number: 2823

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 4:30 PM – 7:20 PM

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 23, 2021
    7:00 PM – 10:00 PM

  • Prerequisites:

    HSCI 100 or BISC 101, HSCI 130.



An interdisciplinary overview of the major non-communicable diseases - cancers, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases - from a public health perspective. Review of biological mechanisms, risk factors, historical and cultural contexts, and global distribution.


COURSE DESCRIPTION: In this course, we will examine cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases from a range of perspectives (biology, pathology, epidemiology, behaviour, societal factors, policy, public health).

TOPICS The course will be divided into four sections – the first section will focus on methodologies, the second on cardiovascular health and disease; the third shorter section on obesity and diabetes, and the final section on cancer. In each section, we will examine how a range of perspectives can be applied to help understand the problems of cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.


Upon completion of the course, students will:
• be able to locate material addressing cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases from a range of sources and academic disciplines;
• be able to describe national and global patterns of cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases;
• know the basic pathogenesis of the major cancers and cardiovascular and metabolic diseases;
• understand factors that influence risk and potential mechanisms involved in disease causality;
• demonstrate awareness of current issues and challenges related to chronic disease prevention and treatment at the population level;
• become familiar with different perspectives from which to assess and approach the problems of chronic disease; and
• become familiar with how knowledge from varying perspectives can be applied to improve population health outcomes related to cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic disease.


  • Tutorial attendance/participation 10%
  • Tutorial presentation 10%
  • Mid-term 25%
  • Paper 20%
  • Final examination (cumulative) 35%


The instructor may make changes to the syllabus if necessary, within Faculty/University regulations.



Required Textbooks: None

Readings available electronically. These can be found in the “Web Links” section on the course Canvas site (see http://www.sfu.ca/canvas.html).

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in spring 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).