Known Carcinogens & Cancer Links


The article covers and explains the top cancer-causing carcinogens in our world today. Educating yourself on the dangers of these chemicals can help you to avoid them in every day life as much as possible.


Carcinogens are known contaminants that can alter your cell DNA and cause an overgrowth of a cell, thusly resulting in cancer. There are many known carcinogens in our world and many others that have not been directly linked to the development of cancer, but all signs strongly show that with further testing, would be included in this list. In cases of severely spreading, invasive cancers, many of these are directly linked to an inhaled or ingested carcinogen, especially with lung cancer.

Avoiding carcinogens and triggers for uncontrolled cell growth should be something occasionally thought about in life. There are many carcinogens that are unavoidable and happen in our major cities with smog, pollution, and environmental toxins.

Here is a list of the top carcinogens and soon-to-be proven poisons most related to and linked to the development of cancers in the body.

Sugar has not only proven to cause and anger diabetes, but it also actively kills your healthy cells and causes others to overproduce. Research also shows that sugar pushes tumor cells to grow at an accelerated rate, causing a greater increase and risk for cancer. Because of this new fact, cancer patients and those in treatment are recommended to avoid extra and processed sugars in their diet.

Processed Food is anything that comes in a plastic wrapped ready to eat, or with little preparing. Scientists are not yet sure if the risk increases because of the sodium content or the preserving ingredients used to make such items like microwaveable lunch meals shelf stable. Because of the risk with processed items, most doctors tell their cancer patients to avoid these types of foods and follow a more whole, fresh and natural diet.

Tanning and too much sun exposure is one of the main causes of malignant melanoma and skin cancer. Those who use a tanning bed before the age of thirty-five automatically increase their risk of developing cancer in the future by seventy-five percent (ACS). Outdoor exposure to sun that results in sunburns and blistering has the same risk-increasing effects on the body. Consider covering your skin and wearing hats whenever going outdoors.

Smoking is a habit formed when a human becomes addicted to nicotine and the contents inside of the rolled tobacco and filtered cigarette. Inside each smoke, there are over seventy known carcinogens, wrapped up tightly for the user to enjoy. Those who are around secondhand smoke have a heightened risk for cancers just as smokers do. This is why it is best to avoid smokers in public as well as smoking in general. The Centers for Disease Control states that those who do not smoke but hang around smokers at work, church or in public increase their risk by twenty to thirty percent (CDC). Smoking is now something frowned upon by almost all doctors, especially if you are dealing with cancer or other life long illnesses in your life. If you are a smoker, consider working immediately to give up the habit. Seek help from your doctor if you are finding it hard to ditch the habit.

Toxic chemicals at work are often unavoidable by those employed at such businesses. Those that deal with strong chemicals, dusty pollutants, and inhalable poison are often at most risk for developing cancers, especially lung cancer. Aluminum workers, tar pavers, painters, rubber manufacturers, and even hair dresses are also at a heightened risk. The World Health Organization has also defined any job working the night shift for an increased risk of cancers.

Arsenic is a natural part of our earth, and in its inorganic form, it is very toxic. This can be found in water pools all over the world, with varying levels of arsenic inside. In some countries, mostly third world and those that struggle, there are high levels of arsenic in the water. Arsenic is also found in cigarettes, and ingested when smoking.

Charred meats and grilling over any open flame sure do taste delicious but are dangerous for people with a greater cancer risk because of the chemicals produced during the open flame and charring portion of grilling. Heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are produced when this happens, and these chemicals have been linked to the future development of cancers.

Coal gasification is a process that happens deep in the coal mines when coal reacts to oxygen, steam or carbon dioxide, forming a toxic gas. Miners often get cancer from inhaling the dust and fumes, and also have a higher rate of stomach, lung and bladder cancer.

Alcohol consumption, specifically heavy or daily use, has been linked to oral, throat, neck, stomach, liver, breast and colon cancer in humans. According to the National Cancer Institute, the greater your intake of alcoholic beverages, the greater your risk of developing cancer.

Diesel exhaust from semi-trucks or public transportation buses release a gas that has over thirty known carcinogens. Avoiding this type of air is best for any living thing.

Salt-cured meats, fish and pickled foods are often high in nitrates and nitrites, which have both been shown to have the potential to damage DNA and cause uncontrolled cell growth. Eating too many pickled foods also increases your risk of stomach cancer.

Fracking is a process of drilling into the Earth which releases chemicals like cancer-causing benzene and formaldehyde into the air and water. This is a process not everyone agrees is environmentally sound and some groups fight against regularly. If you live in an area where fracking happens, consider avoiding the air on days when they are digging.

Processed meats like sausage, salami, ham, and bacon are in a danger category because of the preservatives they are processed with to ensure they have a long life span for stores to sell, and consumers to keep on hand at home. Chemicals used in the smoking, fermenting, salting, and curing processes all have known carcinogens helping to preserve these meats. Be cautious and look for brands who use different or natural processes for their processed meats.

Asbestos is a form of insulation used in millions of houses, businesses, and places around the world before the dust was linked to cancer. While this substance is not illegal in the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency does mandate and regulate its use.

Birth control and estrogen are both great risk-increasers for breast, ovarian and uterine cancers in women. For women who start menstruation early, or very late, this alone increases the risk by nearly twenty-five percent. Birth control use for any amount of time immediately increases a woman’s cancer risk, and long-term use heightens by nearly fifty percent.

Viruses can also increase your risk of cancer. Things like the human papillomavirus (HPV), Hepatitis B and C, and the Epstein Barr virus (EBV) have all been linked to cervical cancer, liver cancer, and lymphoma. Long term infections with the H. Pylori virus has proven increased risk for gastric cancer.

Genetic Risk and family history make up about five to ten percent of diagnosed cancer cases (ACS). Parents can pass down the cancer germ cells to their offspring if their damaged DNA cells are managed to fertilize properly.

Formaldehyde has been a proven cancer causer in animals for decades as the preserving and glue agents in the mixture are very toxic carcinogens. Formaldehyde exists in many places in our world and is almost unavoidable to some degree.

Being Overweight automatically increases your risk for many types of cancer due to the strain and inflammation put on your body daily.

Air pollution like smog, soot, and added chemicals are not good for any living, breathing thing, and all have been linked to cancers, especially lung cancer. Those who have worked as chimney sweeps had a higher rate of scrotal cancer, as well as cancer in the lungs.

Silica is a naturally occurring mineral found in sand, concrete, and stone. When these things are broken up and dust is created and inhaled, this increases the risk of cancer. Construction workers and those working in dusty atmospheres often have much higher rates of cancer.

Radiation. whether in the form of a nuclear bomb or that from the sun, has been directly linked to causing cancer in humans and animals. In the news, you would note those who lived through the Chernobyl nuclear disaster to be stricken with many cancers, and ironically, some of those cancer patients treated with radiation find themselves with new cancers from the treatment. At this point, there are no organizations that consider radiation totally safe, but often the benefits still outweigh the risk.

Certain plastics become dangerous when they leak chemicals into the body or the environment. BPA is a synthetic estrogen that has been used in plastics since the 1960s and includes just about every type of plastic you can think of, and even some types of ink. Many companies now list BPA on their labels, or state if they are “BPA Free.” BPA exposure has been linked to breast and prostate cancer, and although it is being used less, it is still highly prevalent in our society.

Chronic, long-term inflammation like that which occurs with autoimmune diseases, bowel disease, and even obesity. The inflammation and pressure put on cells can cause permanent damage to them, which can lead to uncontrollable cell growth.

If you are concerned about your exposure and risk of carcinogens in our environment and your daily life, discuss with your doctor if avoiding certain carcinogens would be beneficial for your life and health.

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