Saturday, July 17, 2021

Surprising things that can cause cancer

Cancer is a horrible disease and we should all do what we can to avoid developing it (when possible). Although it is one of the biggest killers of the human population, it is not always an inevitable illness. There are things in your everyday life that you can avoid in order to diminish your chances of getting cancer.

On the one hand, we all know that things such as smoking put you in a bad position. On the other hand, there are surprising things in our daily routines that most people are not aware of that could harm our future health.

Hot tea - If you like a cup of tea to keep you going, make sure you let it cool down first. Very hot tea is associated with esophagus cancer.

Sitting still - We are all guilty of sitting for too long. Reduced physical activity has been seen to increase the risk of lung, colon, and breast cancer. There is also a link between exercise and reduced risk of cancer.

Being tall - Unfortunately, there is not much that can be done about this one. A study found that for every 10 cm (4 inches) of height, the risk of cancer increases by 10%. Scientists are not exactly sure why this is. It could be that tall people just have more cells and so it is more likely that one of them mutates.

Shopping receipts - In 2010, a study found that most shopping receipts use a chemical called bisphenol-A. It's a hormone chemical with links to an increased risk of cancer. So consider not asking for a receipt, or opt for a digital one.

Smoke from the grill - If you are having a barbecue, consider wearing a face mask when you are near the smoke. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) can be absorbed through the skin and inhaled through the smoke. PAHs increase humans' risk of cancer.

Breast implants - There is a slightly higher risk of cancer for people with breast implants. They increase the risk of anaplastic large cell lymphomas.

Alcohol - It is sad but true–alcohol is bad for you in almost every way. Researchers have predicted that 6% of yearly cancer deaths worldwide are due directly to drinking.

Areca nut - Much like coffee, the areca nut is a stimulant. However, it is chewed. There is a link between chewing this nut and an increased risk of oral cancer.

Betel quid - Betel quid is a leaf that comes from Asia. It is chewed with areca nut. Whether there is tobacco in the mix or not, it still increases the risk of oral cancer.

Aristolochic acid - Plants containing aristolochic are used in traditional Chinese medicine. It has been found to cause kidney disease and urothelial cancer.

Salt-cured fish - Salt-cured fish can be very high in nitrates. Nitrates react with protein to create nitrosamines. These can damage DNA and increase your risk of nasopharyngeal cancer.

Wood dust - Wood dust is carcinogenic. If you're working around wood, be sure to wear a mask. The ingestion of wood dust is associated with nasal cancer.

Contraceptives - Researchers have found contraceptive pills increase women’s chances of developing cervical cancer. The longer you use them, the more the risk multiplies.

Processed meat - Eating meat that is cured or treated in some way significantly increases your chance of cancer. According to the World Health Organization, it is as dangerous as tobacco. Processed meat is particularly connected to bowel cancer.

Weight - Having a higher body weight significantly increases the likelihood of getting cancer. Individuals who are overweight face around double the risk of getting stomach, liver, kidney, and esophagus cancer.

Sunbeds - Any kind of sun bed will increase your exposure to UV light. When you are exposed so strongly, you increase your risk of skin cancer and cataracts.

Arsenic in water - You may not realize it, but it's possible that small amounts of the poison arsenic are in your tap water. It can run in from factory waste. When ingested, it increases your risk of skin, liver, lung, kidney, and bladder cancer. Consider buying a water filter.

Open car windows - If you are sitting in traffic and your window is open, you are increasing your chance of getting cancer. The fumes from the resting cars get into your lungs and can trigger DNA changes that can lead to lung and bladder cancer.

Dry-cleaned clothes - The World Health Organization did a study where they found that the chemicals used in the dry cleaning process are harmful and can increase your risk of bladder, liver, and cervical cancer.

Unprotected sex - If you do not use protection, then you might catch a sexual disease. STIs and STDs increase your chances of getting cancer. In particular, human papillomavirus (HPV) is specifically linked with cancers in the genital area.

Mineral oil products - Mineral oil is a by-product of refining crude oil into petrol and petroleum products. Researchers have found that there is a link between the application of mineral oil to the skin and getting cancer. It is often found in cosmetic products.

Vaping - You may think that if there is no tobacco, then your risk of cancer is non-existent. However, the aerosols in vapes still contain carcinogenic chemicals that can induce cancer.

Sleeplessness - Having less than seven or eight hours of sleep a night significantly increases your risk of cancer. Sleep restores your cells and encourages healthy cell production, and so lacking it could be extremely detrimental.

Lack of veggies - Vegetables are obviously good for all kinds of things. If you are not getting enough of them, you are at higher risk of developing cancer. Researchers found that eating plants specifically reduces the risk of getting mouth, stomach, esophagus, colon, and rectal cancer.

Hepatitis B virus - Having chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) can lead to the development of hepatocellular carcinoma. It is one of the top five most common cancers in the world. People with HBV also have an increased risk of liver cancer.

Formaldehyde - Industrial workers and embalmers may be around the chemical formaldehyde. The ingestion of it causes cancers such as myeloid leukemia and cancer of the nasopharynx.

Aluminium production - If you are a worker in a factory that carries out aluminum reduction, you should definitely wear a mask. Inhaling aluminum fumes is associated with bladder and lung cancer.

Polychlorinated biphenyls - This is a synthetic compound that is used in electrical equipment. Scientists have found that PCBs in humans are linked with increased rates of brain cancer, gastrointestinal tract cancer, biliary tract cancer, gall bladder cancer, melanomas, and liver cancer.

Sources: (The Guardian) (Live Science) (Insider)

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