• Any substance, radionuclide, or radiation that promotes carcinogenesis, or the formation of cancer, is referred to as a carcinogen. This could be due to the ability to damage the genome or to cellular metabolic processes being disrupted.
  • Several radioactive substances are carcinogens, but their cancer-causing properties are attributed to the radiation they emit, such as gamma rays and alpha particles. Inhaled asbestos, certain dioxins, and tobacco smoke are examples of non-radioactive carcinogens.
  • Although carcinogenicity is most commonly associated with synthetic chemicals, it can occur in both natural and synthetic substances. Carcinogens aren't always toxic right away, so their effects can be subtle.
  • Any disease in which normal cells are damaged and do not die as quickly as they divide via mitosis is known as cancer. Carcinogens may increase the risk of cancer by altering cellular metabolism or directly damaging DNA in cells, interfering with biological processes and causing uncontrolled, malignant division, which eventually leads to tumor formation.
  • Severe DNA damage usually results in programmed cell death, but if the programmed cell death pathway is disrupted, cell will not be able to prevent itself from turning into a cancer cell.

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