An exhibition of photographs, images, specimens and computer simulations on the theme of cancer is being held till Sept. 2 at TFT Hall in Ariake, Tokyo.

These images of cancerous lungs (above) and cells (top) are among the educational exhibits on display at TFT Hall.

Despite rapid medical progress, one out of every three Japanese dies of cancer. Yet people remain unfamiliar with the true nature of the disease, and many tend to regard its diagnosis as a death sentence.

This exhibition, divided into four sections, aims to wipe out preconceived notions and replace them with up-to-date information about cancer and the current and future methods of treatment.

The first section introduces the present state of our knowledge about cancer. Using animated images and plain, simple language, it explains the mechanism of the disease and how it spreads. It also explores the methods of diagnosis and medical treatments now generally available.

The second section traces the history of cancer research in Japan, starting from the Edo Era. One of the exhibits is the first artificial cancer, created by Dr. Katsusaburo Yamagiwa by painting coats and coats of tar onto the ear of a rabbit, now preserved in formaldehyde.

The third section is divided into 14 parts, each representing a different type of cancer and offering detailed explanations of the latest treatments for each. There is also a corner where visitors will be able to operate an endoscope or check artificial breasts for telltale signs of cancer.

The theme for the final section is future treatment and preventative measures. Items on display include medical equipment expected to be adopted soon in battling cancer, and microscopes through which DNA carrying genetic triggers for cancer can be seen.