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Miscellaneous chemical carcinogens

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

Chemical carcinogenesis can come in a variety of forms which are not directly related to occupation or medical treatment:

  • natural result of presence of organism or its product:
    • some strains of Aspergillus flavus stored on grains or peanuts produce a toxin for hepatocytes - aflatoxin B1; in Africa and the Far East, the concentration of aflatoxin in the diet correlates with the incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma
    • Helicobacter pylori produces a chronic gastritis that has been linked to the eventual development of gastric carcinoma
  • dietary influence:
    • provide substrates for the formation of carcinogens, e.g. nitrites and nitrates
    • increasing the duration of carcinogen contact with stem cells by changing the dietary composition, e.g. low-residue diets which prolong transit
    • varying the proportion of selenium and vitamins C and E in the diet, so influencing the amount of free radical production and hence gene damage
  • pollution:
    • air: when air pollution was more severe at the turn of the century, lung cancer was concentrated in urban areas
    • water: weak relationship between the presence of halogenated hydrocarbons and pesticides and bladder cancer

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