Examples of Carcinogens in Our Everyday Lives

What is a carcinogen?

A carcinogen is any substance that is capable cause cancer within living tissue. Some carcinogens cause cancer by altering, changing, a cell's DNA. Others may cause cells to divide at a rate that is faster than normal which can cause DNA changes as well. 

Common Carcinogens

1. Deodorant (Antiperspirants): While deodorant helps minimize unpleasant odors produced by the body, some studies show that the aluminum in antiperspirants have some links to breast cancer. Aluminum works by temporarily plugging the sweat ducts under the arms and prevents most sweat from flowing to the surface. A way to limit your aluminum exposure from antiperspirants would be to try a natural deodorant or aluminum free deordorants. 

2. Sunlight and UV Rays. Sunlight and UV rays are impossible to avoid completely. However, too much exposure can lead to increased risks of cancer. Here are some ways to limit exposure. 

3. Tobacco. Tobacco exposure can lead to cancer. There is a greater risk of smoking it yourself. However, secondhand smoke exposure can also leave traces throughout the body. Tobacco has been linked to lung cancer, throat cancer, esophageal cancer, colon cancer and bladder cancer. 

4. Alcohol. Alcohol is an ingredient used in most products we use daily including mouthwash and certain medications. In order to limit exposure, it is recommended to avaoid drinking more than the recommended consumption amount, which is one drink a day for women and two for men. Increased alcohol exposure has been linked to breast cancer, liver cancer and esophageal cancer. 

5. Processed Meat. Processed meats are preserved with chemicals such as nitrates and nitrites and cookes at high heats which increases the ecposure of other underlying chemicals. To avoid increased exposure to these chemicals, try avoiding processed meats, decreasing your portion sizes or subbing them out for alternatives that are not processed. 

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