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10 things that could actually give you cancer

Posted April 23

How many of these things are in your home right now? (Deseret Photo)

Cancer is a complex, varied and partly unknown group of diseases. However, we do know that lifestyle, along with genetics, are huge factors when it comes to your likelihood of a diagnosis. There no way you can live a life that can be guarenteed as completely cancer free, but you can reduce your risk. To do just that, keep these known carcinogens out of your life:

1. Carbonated beverages

Unfortunately, that dark caramel color in your favorite drink (known as 4-methylimidazole, or 4-MEI) is a possible carcinogen. “Soft drink consumers are being exposed to an avoidable and unnecessary cancer risk from an ingredient that is being added to these beverages simply for aesthetic purposes,” said Keeve Nachman, PhD, assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

2. Tobacco

It's no big secret that smoking tobacco causes lung and oral cancer. Along with containing harmful tobacco, cigarettes, cigars and other related products are also made up of toxic chemicals. According to the American Cancer Society, tobacco smoke is made up of thousands of chemicals, including at least 70 known to cause cancer.

3. Grilled meats

When meats like fish, poultry, pork and beef are cooked at a high temperature, Heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) chemicals are formed. In an experiment, rodents who were fed high levels of HCAs and PAHs chemicals developed cancerous tumors in various parts of their body.

4. Tanning beds

While we all want a great tan, we should never forget that "most skin cancers are a direct result of exposure to the UV rays in sunlight". Any sort of exposure to UV rays (natural or man-made) all increase our risk of cancer. Avoid tanning beds, apply sunscreen and limit your time out in the sun to keep yourself safer from skin cancer.

5. Candles

The waxes and chemicals in your favorite candles release toxic chemicals when burned, some of which have been linked to lung cancer and asthma. A romantic date night with candles is OK every once a while "but lighting many paraffin candles every day for years or lighting them frequently in an un-ventilated bathroom around a tub, for example, may cause problems" said researcher Amid Hamidi.

6. Toxic car fumes

Numerous research studies show that exposure to diesel and other forms of fuel exhaust can increase the chances of lung cancer. Though it's impossible to step away from our well-accustomed lifestyle of driving, it wouldn’t hurt to turn the engine off while waiting to minimize the risk of cancer.

7. Alcohol

Alcohol, even in moderate proportions, can increase the risk of breast, colon, liver and esophageal cancer. The risk of getting cancers of the mouth, throat, voice box, and esophagus are especially high if an individual smokes and drinks, according to the American Cancer Society.

8. Room fresheners

Who doesn’t want to come back to a fresh smelling home? While room fresheners make that easy, we should be cautious. All air fresheners contain chemical substances that can create a potent concoction of cancer-causing substances. Research shows that chemicals in air fresheners react to the chemicals in the ozone, which combines to produce formaldehyde, a known carcinogen.

9. Cosmetics

Be it hair dye, lipstick, gels, hair spray, lotions, shampoo, tanning oils or nail polish, the chemicals in your favorite products (like parabens and phthalates) have been correlated with cancer.

10. Canned foods

The real culprit here is Bisphenol A, or BPA — a carcinogenic chemical found widely in plastics. The plastic lining of the metal containers seep into the food itself. Studies suggest that canned soups and pasta can expose consumers to higher concentrations of BPA than canned vegetables and fruit.

Hopefully this information can help you make healthier choices and reduce your risk of cancer.

3 Comments

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  • Frank Curcio Apr 24, 2:03 p.m.
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    As with everything else in life, moderation is the key. Alcohol "can" increase the "risk" of some cancers - think about how weak that statement really is.

  • Mary Meadows Apr 24, 12:10 p.m.
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    View quoted thread


    You took the words right out of my mouth!

  • Travis Perry Apr 24, 11:50 a.m.
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    So basically, everything causes cancer.