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10 Dangerous Habits That Can Cause Cancer

By Neha

Cancer has a major impact all around the world. According to the statistics, the most common cancers in 2016 are projected to be breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, bladder cancer, skin cancer, kidney cancer, endometrial cancer and pancreatic cancer.

The number of people living beyond a cancer diagnosis reached nearly 14.5 million in 2014 and it is expected to rise to almost 19 million by 2024. Cancer is such a disease which has led to many deaths worldwide, and the number of new cancer cases will rise to 22 million within the next two decades.

Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally and was responsible for 8.8 million deaths in the year 2015. Around one-third of deaths from cancer are due to certain behavioural and dietary risks, which include a high body mass index, low fruit and vegetable intake, lack of physical activity, tobacco and too much of alcohol.

Let us have a look at some of the dangerous habits that can cause cancer.

1. Air Fresheners

Air fresheners have become essential home-care products and have replaced good old cleaning routines and traditional potpourris. These air fresheners do not improve the quality of air in any way, they just mask the foul odours, giving you a false sense of sanitation. They contain harmful cancer-causing substances that enter through the nostrils when you spray it around you.


2. Alcoholic Beverages

Alcoholic consumption has been shown to increase your cancer risk. A noted study suggested that drinking alcohol twice a day can increase the risk of oesophagus cancer, colon cancer, rectum cancer and breast cancer. Alcohol promotes the production of stomach acids that can harm the lining of the gastrointestinal tract.


3. Birth Control Pills

Having birth control pills increases the risk of breast cancer as well as cancer of the cervix and liver. Also, women who do not have children or can't bear a child have an increased risk for breast cancer.


4. Candles

Recent studies have said that the fumes released from paraffin wax contain carcinogens and other fossil fuel components. The paraffin wax candles may pose to be a killer if you regularly go for candle-lit dinners. Instead, burn pure beeswax candles, as it will not damage your body.


5. Car Fumes

People who are more exposed to diesel fuels have lung cancer and other respiratory ailments. Diesel and petrol (gasoline) release toxic carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons, including benzene.


6. Cosmetics

Cosmetics are applied to enhance appearance, but certain chemicals in cosmetics are stored in the body even after washing it off. The fragrances used in these cosmetic products are suspicious, as manufacturers do not share their formula with the cosmetic companies. Choose organic cosmetics to decrease the risk of skin cancer.


7. Burnt Food

When you grill food items like fish, chicken and meat, they become slightly burnt and some areas become blackened. Though this gives a smoky flavour, they can increase the risk of stomach, colon and pancreatic cancers.


8. Canned Foods

Canned foods are unhealthy and dangerous because the foods are sealed in metal containers lined with plastic coating that is full of harmful chemicals. These canned foods when consumed leads to hormonal disturbances and DNA changes that result in breast cancer.


9. Diet Soda

Diet soda contains artificial sweeteners that has been linked to increasing pancreatic cancer and other types of cancers. Several studies have shown that diet soda also leads to bladder cancer and brain tumours.


10. Sunscreen

To prevent skin cancer and other skin damages, most people use sunscreen. But you will be shocked to know that sunscreens contain an ingredient called zinc oxide, which is known to produce free radicals that can cause DNA damage and trigger cancer growth.

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Story first published: Sunday, February 4, 2018, 11:00 [IST]
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