11 popular food and habits that increase your chances of having cancer

Something as harmless as drinking hot tea can increase your risk of developing cancer
  • Cancer is one of the most deadly diseases in the world. It can be passed down via our genes.
  • It can also be caused as a result of the things we put in our mouths, inhale, or use that contain a cancer-causing substance called carcinogen.
  • Below are the 11 most common cancer-causing foods and habits.

There are over 100 substances and activities that can cause cancer, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Some of these happen to be food and activities that we partake in regularly.

From smoking, eating junk food, inhaling wood dust to drinking hot beverages, here are 11 popular cancer-causing food and habits to be beware of:

  • Smoking

It's no secret that tobacco smoke is harmful to your health and that smokers are liable to die young. This is because it contains at least 70 known cancer-causing chemicals are referred to as carcinogens.

Apart from cancer, substances like nicotine (one of the harshest chemicals in tobacco smoke) can lead to heart disease, lung disease, and other serious health problems.

  • Secondhand smoke/passive smoking

Unfortunately, non-smokers are not free of the harmful effects of smoking. People who inhale secondhand smoke can also develop cancers of the larynx (voice box) and pharynx (upper throat).

It also increases the risk of lung cancer and deadly forms of cancer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or at work increase their risk of developing lung cancer by 20-30%."

  • Birth control 

Science has linked the use of birth-control pills to cervical cancer.

However, there is also evidence that being on birth control can reduce the risk of developing endometrial (uterus), colorectal, and ovarian cancers.

  • Paint

Paint contains benzene – a cancer-causing chemical. Exposed to high levels of this chemical, painters can develop bladder cancer, leukaemia and lung cancer.

  • Air pollution

Exposure to polluted air that contains high levels of soot has been linked to scrotal, lung, esophageal, and bladder cancers.

  • Nail polish

Certain types of nail polish have been tagged as a potentially cancer-causing product. This is because a lot of them contain formaldehyde, which the Occupational Safety and Health Administration says can raise cancer risks. This is also found in nail disinfectant tools.

  • Junk food

Eating any pre-packaged food that is designed to last for months without spoiling increases your risk of cancer.

This could be because of the ingredients used to ensure that the food lasts for months or plastic packaging. It could even be a combination of the two.

Regardless of the reason, science has linked the frequent consumption of junk food to cancer, obesity and cardiovascular diseases.

  • Processed meats like ham, bacon, and sausage

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), eating processed meats like hot dogs, ham, bacon, and sausage increases the risk of developing colorectal, pancreatic and prostate and breast cancer.

  • Alcohol

Constantly consuming alcohol can increase your risk of developing throat, liver, breast, and colon cancer.

The National Cancer Institute notes that "the risk of developing cancer increases with the amount of alcohol a person drinks."

  • Hot beverages 

The regular consumption of beverages that are hot enough to burn your tongue can result in throat cancer. However, scientists agree that this particular cancer risk is relatively low.

  • Wood dust

Carpenters, saw-mill workers and anyone who breathe in lots of wood dust stands the risk of developing cancers of the sinus and nasal cavity.


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