What Causes Cancer?

Cancer is one of the most feared diseases humans face. Ironically, many cancers can be prevented. Why? What causes Cancer? Can cancer be avoided? Related to this, what are Carcinogens?

What are the Main Causes of Cancer?

One of the key causes of cancer is damage done to genes over time. This accumulation of genetic damage triggers certain cells to multiply in an abnormal way. When this happens, the cells form what is called a tumor.

A tumor can be benign or malignant. Malignant means that the cells are growing and spreading, while benign means that no such spread has yet occurred. However, this can be misleading because if left untreated, even benign cells will eventually grow and spread.

Yet, what are the main causes of this degeneration of the genes which trigger cancerous growths?

What Triggers Cancer Cells?

Cancer triggers are well-known and each day, researchers uncover more factors which may lead to cancer. This is because the trigger is genetic. When certain substances and conditions are present, the genes become damaged. As the damage grows, the likelihood of cancer likewise grows.

These triggers are known as carcinogens. To date, researchers have identified over 100 KNOWN carcinogens. However, these are simply the chemicals and other factors which will, over time, cause cancer. Include in this list other strongly-suspected carcinogens, and the figure rises to a minimum 141 substances

Because the most important factor in protecting our health is knowledge, this list of KNOWN carcinogens is provided here. At Kymera, we are dedicated to both treating cancer AND fighting it at the source. This means we have an obligation to current and future patients to help them avoid things which can cause them to need our cancer treatment services.

Following is a list of known and strongly suspected cancer-causing agents. Learn more at Cancer.org.

Known and Suspected Human Carcinogens

The following is a comprehensive list of known and suspected human carcinogens. We encourage everyone to review this list, bookmark this page for easy reference, and do your best to avoid as many of these as possible. This is not an easy thing to do in our society, but the more of these carcinogens we can eliminate from our personal lives and our families, the lower the risk we have of developing cancer.

  1. 1-(2-Chloroethyl)-3-(4-methylcyclohexyl)-1-nitrosourea (MeCCNU)
  2. 1,2-Dichloropropane
  3. 1,3-Butadiene
  4. 1,3-Butadiene
  5. 1,4-Butanediol dimethylsulfonate (busulfan)
  6. 2-Naphthylamine
  7. 2-Naphthylamine
  8. 2,3,4,7,8-Pentachlorodibenzofuran
  9. 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD); “dioxin”
  10. 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-para-dioxin
  11. 3,4,5,3′,4′-Pentachlorobiphenyl (PCB-126)
  12. 4-Aminobiphenyl
  13. 4-Aminobiphenyl
  14. 4,4′-Methylenebischloroaniline (MOCA)
  15. Acetaldehyde (in alcoholic beverages)
  16. Acheson process
  17. Acid mists
  18. Aflatoxins
  19. Aflatoxins
  20. Alcoholic beverage consumption
  21. Alcoholic beverages
  22. Aluminum production
  23. Analgesic mixtures containing phenacetin
  24. Areca nut
  25. Aristolochic acids
  26. Arsenic and inorganic arsenic compounds
  27. Asbestos
  28. Asbestos and similar mineral substances containing trace amounts (like talc or vermiculite)
  29. Auramine production
  30. Azathioprine
  31. Azathioprine
  32. Benzene
  33. Benzidine and metabolized dyes
  34. Benzoapyrene
  35. Beryllium and beryllium compounds
  36. Betel quid
  37. Bis(chloromethyl) ether and technical-grade chloromethyl methyl ether
  38. Bischloromethylether and chloromethyl methyl ether
  39. Busulfan
  40. Cadmium and cadmium compounds
  41. Chlorambucil
  42. Chlornaphazine
  43. Chromium (VI) compounds
  44. Chromium hexavalent compounds
  45. Clonorchis sinensis infection (Chinese liver fluke)
  46. Coal gasification
  47. Coal tar pitches
  48. Coal tars
  49. Coal-tar distillation
  50. Coal-tar pitch
  51. Coal, indoor emissions
  52. Coke oven emissions
  53. Coke production
  54. Cyclophosphamide
  55. Cyclosporin A
  56. Diethylstilbestrol (DES)
  57. Dyes metabolized to benzidine
  58. Engine exhaust, diesel
  59. Epstein-Barr virus infection
  60. Erionite
  61. Estrogen postmenopausal therapy
  62. Estrogen-progestogen oral contraceptives
  63. Estrogen-progestogen postmenopausal therapy
  64. Estrogens, steroidal
  65. Ethanol in alcoholic beverages
  66. Ethylene oxide
  67. Etoposide combined with bleomycin and cisplatin
  68. Fission products (like strontium-90)
  69. Fluoro-edenite fibrous amphibole
  70. Formaldehyde
  71. Haematite mining
  72. Helicobacter pylori infection
  73. Hepatitis B virus chronic infection
  74. Hepatitis C virus chronic infection
  75. Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)
  76. Human papilloma virus (HPV) infection (types 16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58, 59)
  77. Human papilloma viruses: some genital-mucosal types
  78. Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type I infection (HTLV-1)
  79. Ionizing radiation
  80. Iron and steel founding
  81. Isopropyl alcohol manufacture using strong acids
  82. Kaposi sarcoma herpesvirus infection (KSHV), (human herpesvirus 8)
  83. Leather dust
  84. Lindane
  85. Magenta production
  86. Melphalan
  87. Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCV)
  88. Methoxsalen plus ultraviolet A radiation (PUVA)
  89. Methoxsalen with ultraviolet A therapy (PUVA)
  90. Mineral oils (untreated and slightly treated)
  91. MOPP and other combined chemotherapy including alkylating agents
  92. Mustard gas
  93. N’-Nitrosonornicotine (NNN) and 4-(N-Nitrosomethylamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK)
  94. Neutron radiation
  95. Nickel compounds
  96. o‑Toluidine
  97. Opisthorchis viverrini infection with (Southeast Asian liver fluke)
  98. Oral tobacco products
  99. ortho-Toluidine
  100. Outdoor air pollution
  101. Paint workplace exposure
  102. Phenacetin
  103. Phosphorus-32, as phosphate
  104. Plutonium
  105. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), Toxicity Equivalency Factor: (PCBs 77, 81, 105, 114, 118, 123, 126, 156, 157, 167, 169, 189)
  106. Processed meat consumption
  107. Radioiodines, (i.e. iodine-131)
  108. Radionuclides, alpha-particle-emitting
  109. Radionuclides, beta-particle-emitting
  110. Radium-224 and decay products
  111. Radium-226 and decay products
  112. Radium-228 and decay products
  113. Radon
  114. Radon-222 and decay products
  115. Rubber manufacturing, byproducts of
  116. Salted fish
  117. Schistosoma haematobium infection
  118. Semustine (methyl-CCNU)
  119. Shale oils
  120. Silica, crystalline (respirable size)
  121. Solar radiation
  122. Soot
  123. Strong inorganic acid mists which contain sulfuric acid
  124. Sulfur mustard
  125. Sunlamps or sunbeds exposure
  126. Tamoxifen (though there is conclusive evidence that it also reduces the risk of contralateral breast cancer in patients)
  127. Thiotepa
  128. Thorium dioxide
  129. Thorium-232 and decay products
  130. Tobacco (cigarette, cigar or pipe) smoke, environmental
  131. Tobacco (cigarette, cigar or pipe) smoke, secondhand
  132. Tobacco smoking (cigarettes, cigars, pipes)
  133. Tobacco, smokeless (snuff, dip, chewing tobacco)
  134. Treosulfan
  135. Trichloroethylene (TCE)
  136. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation
  137. Ultraviolet (Broad Spectrum UV) radiation
  138. Ultraviolet-emitting tanning devices
  139. Vinyl chloride
  140. Wood dust
  141. X- and Gamma-radiation

Cancer is a terrible disease, but treatment advances in the last decade have resulted in more people beating it into remission than ever before. Kymera Independent Physicians are among those conducting research while using what is known to successfully treat cancer. If you suspect you or someone you love has cancer, please request an appointment at any of our Southeast New Mexico locations: Roswell, Hobbs, Carlsbad.

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