Carcinogens, causes of cancer, the risk of developing
Malignant tumors are known to mankind since ancient times. Hippocrates and other founders of medical science of the past clearly identified tumors among other diseases, however, the causes of cancer remained a mystery. Tumors were found in Egyptian mummies and descriptions of the processes, reminiscent of cancer, found in the works of scientists of antiquity, who tried to apply even surgery, is sometimes very traumatic and ineffective.
Because knowledge is not developed sufficiently, there was no diagnostic methods, and surgical treatment was used rarely and was not always given at least some positive result, it is possible to judge of the extent of the tumor even in the middle ages is problematic. Valuable information could give a thorough autopsy, but they were not common, and in some countries due to religious and cultural aspects were not carried out at all, so we can only guess how many tumors hiding under the guise of «dropsy», «jaundice» and similar causes of death.
For centuries millions of people’s lives took a variety of infections as a major cause of mortality. The average life expectancy barely reached 35-40 years, and today it is known that age plays an important role in the development of tumors.
In 50 years the risk of cancer 50 times higher than 20, and more than half of tumors are detected in people older than 65 years.
It is not surprising that the tumor is not too scared and cared about our ancestors, because most of them simply did not survive to this age.
With the deepening of knowledge of the causes of various diseases, and the advent of antibiotics, improved methods of treatment, improvement of sanitary-epidemiological and hygiene in General, the infection had passed its leadership position and to the twentieth century gave way to the diseases of the cardiovascular system and cancer. Thus arose the science of Oncology, the most important task of which was the clue of the essence and clarification of the causes of cancer and develop effective ways of dealing with it.
Today, finding out the causes of cancer scientists in various fields – geneticists, biochemists, oncologists, morphologists, immunologists. This interaction of specialists in different fields of science is paying off, and it can be argued that the major patterns of carcinogenesis have been studied fairly well.
Risk factors tumors
The tumor is a pathological process characterized by unrestrained, uncontrolled, inadequate to the needs of the body the multiplication of cells endowed with specific characteristics that distinguish them from normal. The main feature of tumors is the growth of autonomy, independence from the organism as a whole and the ability to exist indefinitely under appropriate conditions.
As you know, throughout life, constantly produce cells that carry certain mutations. This is because you need to update the cellular composition of the majority of organs and tissues avoiding spontaneous mutations is impossible. Normal antitumor immunity in a timely manner destroys such cells and development of tumors occurs. With age, the defense mechanisms weakens, which creates conditions for the emergence of a malignant tumor. This is partly due to a higher risk of cancer among the elderly.
According to who, in 90% of cases the cancer appears due to the influence of external factors and only 10% of them are associated with genetic anomalies. However, this conclusion remains controversial, since the development of modern cytogenetic methods of research identified new genetic disorders in different human cancers.
Because the causes of cancer in most of the cases remain outstanding, a malignant tumor is considered to be a multifactorial phenomenon.
Because you need quite a long time that the tumor formed, validly prove the role a particular agent, or external influence is problematic. Of all the possible external causes malignant tumors of the most important is Smoking, due to the prevalence among the population, with the other carcinogens play a role in a relatively small number of cases.
Risk factors cancer can be considered:
- Old age;
- Positive family history and genetic disorders;
- The presence of harmful habits and adverse environmental conditions;
- Chronic inflammatory processes of different localization;
- Immunity disorders;
- Work in hazardous conditions involving exposure to carcinogens.
It is becoming increasingly important psychological and spiritual causes, because the level of stress and loads on the psyche is constantly increasing, especially among residents of large cities.
While in adults, cancer is most often caused by exposure to a number of external factors among the causes of cancer in children the main place is given to genetic mutations and hereditary anomalies.
Risk factors of cancer and their impact on the development of private forms:
The longer the cage is in adverse conditions, the higher is the probability of occurrence of mutations and tumor growth later, so elderly workers, long-term contact with various carcinogens, persons suffering from disorders in the immune system should be under special control of doctors.
Video: what causes cancer?
As mentioned above, a significant place among the main causes of cancer is given to the carcinogens. These substances surround us everywhere, meet you in life, fall into food and water, pollute the air. Modern man is forced to contact with a large number of different chemical compounds not only them, but also at home, but most of us don’t even think about the possible dangers of a means of household chemicals, food or drugs.
Carcinogens are substances, microorganisms or physical factors that reliably cause cancer. In other words, their role as causes of a malignant tumor proven by numerous studies and there is no doubt.
The list of carcinogens is constantly expanding, and their distribution largely contributes to the development of industry (especially chemical, mining, metallurgical), the growth of large cities and the changing lifestyle of modern man.
The whole range of possible external factors with carcinogenic properties, can be divided into three main groups:
Carcinogens chemical origin
Chemical carcinogenesis implies a negative impact of substances entering the body from the outside, use of food with respect to adverse cancer effect, and the use of drugs, vitamins and hormones (steroids, estrogens, etc.).
A large number of carcinogens enters the body from the external environment by industrial emissions, exhaust gases of vehicles, especially in large cities, waste of agricultural production.
Polycyclic hydrocarbons constitute a very large group of chemical carcinogens that occur not only in terms of bad production, but also in everyday life. So, building materials, furniture, and even dust can carry such substances. The most common representatives of this group can be considered as benzpyrene, dibenzanthracene, benzene, polyvinylchoride etc.
Smoking is a very powerful carcinogenic factor, which is inhaled together with tobacco smoke benzopyrene, dibenzanthracene and other very dangerous compounds. In addition, you should take into account the prevalence of this habit among the population of different countries, and among the causes of malignant tumors of various localizations Smoking leaves behind all the other harmful effects together.
It should be noted that the use of cigarettes with low nicotine content and different filters only slightly reduces the risk of cancer. In addition to smokers themselves, the adverse effects cigarette smoke has on family members, work colleagues and even passers-by on the streets, who may be reluctant participants in the process of Smoking. Proved the role of this bad habit not only in cancer development but also of the larynx, esophagus, stomach, cervix and even the bladder.
Aromatic amines include, above all, such compounds as naphthylamine and benzidine. Naphthylamine is often a part of various paint products, and, getting into the body by inhalation, turns into metabolites output kidneys. Accumulation in the bladder of urine, containing such secondary metabolic products that could cause cancer it mucosa.
Asbestos is quite commonly used substance in the production of vinyl Wallpaper, cement, paper, and even in the textile and cosmetic industries (bedspreads, bed linen, deodorants, talc, etc.). The inhalation of dust over long periods of time can lead to the development of cancer of the lung, larynx, mesothelioma of the pleura.
The market of cosmetic products and household chemicals, offers a wide variety of tools that help not only improve appearance, but also greatly facilitate the life of modern people. All kinds of gels, shampoos, Soaps, attracted by the smell, appearance and promises to make the skin smooth and velvety. Advertising products for cleaning, home offers get rid of the various problems in the kitchen or bathroom for a few minutes. However, almost all of them contain a dangerous carcinogen parabens, phthalates, amines and others.
Hair dye, without which nobody can imagine a life of not only women, but men also can be very toxic due to the members of toluidine that can build up in the blood and exert a carcinogenic effect. Through a study of the blood of hairdressers, the researchers found a significant increase in the concentration of these substances. The more often the hairdresser dyed my hair and did a Perm, the higher the concentration toluidine in his blood was detected.
For anybody not a secret that the use of food can carry a variety of harmful components that contribute to the development of malignant tumors. Foods that cause cancer can be found in almost every home and on every Desk, and completely avoid them in the modern world is problematic. The fight for the food market leads to the use of various chemical compounds, improves the taste, appearance, and prolonging storage period. Carcinogens especially rich pastries, smoked and roasted meats, sausages, sodas, chips, etc. the list is quite long, and completely excluded from the diet of similar products is unlikely.
Used as sweeteners of cyclamate and saccharin in laboratory animals can cause cancer. Carcinogenic role for humans is not yet proven, so all you need to keep in mind the potential adverse effects from their use.
Nitrosamines are widespread in the food industry and are used mainly in the production of meat products, sausages, ham, etc. These substances give a pink color and are good preservatives. The direct impact of nitrite on the mucous membrane can cause cancer of the stomach and esophagus.
It is known that when frying different foods in oil produces a great amount of harmful and toxic compounds, and carcinogens. Thus, the oil can be used to detect aldehydes, acrylamide, free radicals, derivatives of fatty acids and even benzpyrene. Particularly dangerous products are exposed to long-term frying in oil at a temperature when it is smoke.
Various pies, donuts, fried food, potato chips, meat cooked on the coals, carry highly toxic components, therefore, from these products is better to refuse. In addition, to reduce the risk to health, avoid overcooking and use for cooking oil with high temperature dymlenija (refined sunflower, olive, canola, corn, etc.). Often unscrupulous food producers use oil for frying a few times, which greatly affects the quality of the food and can cause serious injury.
Disputes about the dangers or benefits of such many drink coffee as maintained to this day. Views were expressed on the mutagenic effect of caffeine, but these assumptions have not been confirmed. Later, coffee was discovered acrylamide produced during roasting of the beans and with carcinogenic properties. Through numerous studies, scientists have not managed to reliably prove that there is a risk when consuming coffee, however, is still not recommended to drink more than 5-6 cups a day.
In addition to the harmful substances formed during cooking at home or added to food products in industrial-scale production, serious danger can introduce microbes found in violation of food storage. So, the fungus Aspergillus flavus that appears when properly stored grains, nuts, dried fruit, food capable of producing one of the most powerful carcinogens aflatoxin. Once in the body, aflatoxin in high concentrations causes severe intoxication, and in smaller quantities, subjected to metabolism in the liver, can cause her cancer. Given the likelihood of the presence of such mold in spoiled products, it is not necessary to risk your health, and it is better to entirely discard poor-quality fruit or a nut.
Many people wonder, is there a danger of eating meat products? As such, fresh meat of good quality bears no harm, but if raw product may or may not include hormones or antibiotics, improper heat treatment, roasting or Smoking very dangerous products.
All kinds of sausage, frankfurters, wieners, smoked brisket and salmon is full of preservatives and dyes (sodium nitrite and others), and it is likely detection of benzopyrene and aromatic hydrocarbons, formed during Smoking, it does not matter whether it was produced naturally or by chemical components (liquid smoke). Scientists estimate that 50 grams of a modern sausage contains about the same substances-carcinogens, how many of them can be obtained from the smoked one cigarette.
When frying meat in a frying pan, cooking barbecue and barbecue to the list of harmful substances are added to the acrylamide, fatty acids, TRANS fats using oils of poor quality. No matter what kind of meat to eat – whether it’s homemade pork or chicken from the store.
The emergence of new ways of processing foods adds a risk to people and the concern for the health by doctors. The fryer and the grill take the leading positions according to the degree of harm. In an age when mankind is doing everything possible to save time, buy prepared food in cooking seems to be the perfect outlet. Grilled chicken recent years became a frequent «guest» at many tables, but in the meantime, this product is so dangerous that its use should be abandoned entirely, because with this method of processing meat formed a huge number of carcinogens.
Video: carcinogens in food and how are they harmful?
Cancer risk at application of medicines and vitamins
We should also mention the vitamins. Modern people are so accustomed to their use that few people are wondering: whether they are necessary and do not bear any harm? Long been known that good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle is enough to make all the necessary substances to in a natural way, and the days of scurvy and beriberi mass behind. However, pharmacies literally littered with various supplements and vitamins, and the population considers it necessary to take them, at least in the spring, during epidemics of respiratory infections before and during pregnancy.
Since the end of last century actively promoted the need for regular intake of synthetic vitamins opinions about their anti-cancer action, but studies in recent years have shocked even the scientists. It was found that regular use of some of them (A, C, E, etc.) cancer of the lung, prostate, skin occurs several dozen times more often. Today, more and more scientists and doctors are inclined to think that synthetic analogs of natural vitamins not only do not carry significant benefits, but may have carcinogenic properties, so these drugs should be limited and undertaken only when necessary and on prescription.
Particularly popular in recent gains, the use of immunomodulatory drugs. At the same time, many fear, when they heard that the interferons cause cancer, and yet these drugs are widely advertised in the media, are appointed for adults and children almost from birth.
The question of rationality widespread use of interferon and other analogs is still controversial, however, carcinogenic effect is not proven. Of course, some risk of immune disorders, when uncontrolled admission of such drugs exist, but significant correlation with malignant tumors no.
If the interferon drugs have been well studied mechanism of action, the effect of Anaferon consisting of antibodies to human interferon, may cause some doubts, however, and its carcinogenic effect has not been proven. The reception of such drugs should be when it has good reasons, is marked doctor. Unfortunately, in many countries, widespread self-medication and uncontrolled use of not only interferons but also other similar drugs.
The so-called hormonal carcinogenesis implies a negative influence of hormones, when when prolonged or uncontrolled intake or metabolic abnormalities, there is a risk of malignant neoplasms. Disorders of ovulation, intake of synthetic female sex hormones, tumors of the ovaries, producing hormones, significantly increase the risk of cancer of the uterus (the endometrium, in particular). Oral contraceptives with high levels of progestin can cause breast cancer, but current drugs considered safe in this respect.
Given the rapid development of pharmacological industry and the tendency of most people to medication is anything on the Internet now and then flashed a fierce debate about the dangers or benefits of various drugs. One of those is Liv 52 is a herbal treatment given as a hepatoprotective and cholagogue in diseases of the liver and gallbladder. Opponents of the use of this drug as the argument use the fact that the ban of its sale in Europe and the United States, however, it is believed that this drug was produced under a different name, but with the same composition. Still, given the potential risk from its use and unproven positive effect, should think twice before you use it yourself or give to children.
It is known about the existence of viruses that cause cancer, although this fact is constantly exposed to doubt and dispute. Thus, the carcinogenic effect of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), herpes and hepatitis B. Perhaps, there are few women who has not heard about the role of human papillomavirus (HPV) in the Genesis of cervical cancer.
Such information can be obtained in any female consultation and vaccination from this type of cancer are doing everywhere. Despite a infectious viral infection itself cancer to get infected from such patients is impossible, because critical in most cases has the immune system of the infected person.
Carcinogens of physical origin
Various kinds of radiation have strong carcinogenic properties.
Ionizing radiation on the territories contaminated with radioisotopes, can be one of the reasons for the «cancer» of the blood – leukemia. For example, the incidence of malignant tumors of the hematopoietic system increased tenfold after the Chernobyl accident, the surviving residents of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Radionuclides can enter the body with food and water, and, given the long half-life (tens and even hundreds of years), carcinogenic effect will be lasting.
An excess of ultraviolet radiation both in vivo and when using tanning can lead to skin cancer and melanoma, particularly in fair-skinned predisposed individuals, with an abundance of moles, pigmented lesions, etc.
Diagnostic x-rays and radiation therapy can cause the growth of sarcomas later. Use it for diagnostic purposes involves such a low dose of radiation that the cancer risk is minimized, however, pregnant women still banned from the use due to the possibility of leukemia in the fetus.
In addition to the listed reasons are also important genetic abnormalities, spontaneous mutations and disorders during embryonic development (brain cancer, etc.). Modern medicine has accumulated a large amount of information regarding genetic changes in certain cancer types, which allows to identify tumors by the presence of their markers even when the seat of malignant growth can be found.
We should also consider the psychological causes of cancer. In ancient times it was observed that cheerful women were less prone to cancer of the breast, which drew the attention of Galen. Given the increasing levels of stress and emotional load, you can just say that these factors contribute to the appearance of malignant tumors. Especially dangerous is the chronic stress, when the body accumulate «unreacted» emotions and the person is in constant tension and emotions.
It should be noted that the described hazardous carcinogenic factors are only a small part of what every day can happen to anyone of us. Avoid contact with harmful substances, products containing carcinogens, to completely refuse from household chemicals and cosmetics is unlikely to succeed, however, you can greatly reduce their harmful effects on the body. This can help in proper diet, careful quality control of food intake, medications, supplements, etc., cessation of Smoking and alcohol abuse, as well as compliance with the rules of a healthy lifestyle, a good mood and adequate physical activity.