Original Articles: 2011 Vol: 3 Issue: 5
Chemical Carcinogen and Cancer Risk: An overview
Human risk estimates and cancer etiology attributed to the consumption of mutagens and carcinogens are difficult to evaluate, as these toxicants come from numerous sources. People are continuously exposed exogenously to varying amounts of chemicals that have been shown to have carcinogenic or mutagenic properties in experimental systems. The word carcinogenic was defined as the capacity of a compound to unchain the process of cancer development in man and animals under the appropriate conditions, by acting on one of several organs or tissues. Epidemiological studies of cancer incidence demonstrated that the risk of developing cancer varies between population groups. Unhealthy lifestyle habits such as: inhalation of tobacco and related products; the ingestion of certain foods are responsible for higher incidences of certain types of neoplasias in a number of population groups. Exposure can occur exogenously when, these agents are present in food, air or water, and also endogenously when they are products of metabolism or pathophysiologic states. It has been estimated that exposure to environmental chemical carcinogens such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, aromatic amines, amino azo dyes, N- Nitro compounds, natural carcinogens (aflatoxin βI and asbestos) may contribute significantly to the causation of a sizable fraction, perhaps a majority, of human cancers.