Chemical Carcinogenesis: Understanding the Steps, Examples and Factors
Chemical carcinogenesis is the process of cancer formation caused by the exposure of a living organism to a chemical carcinogen. This process is composed of a series of steps, including initiation, promotion, and progression. Initiation is the initial exposure to a carcinogenic agent, which is then metabolized, leading to a cellular response that causes a mutation in the DNA. Promotion is the sustained exposure to a carcinogenic agent, which causes the mutated cells to proliferate, leading to the formation of a tumour. Progression is the final step in the process, where the tumour grows and further mutations accumulate, leading to the formation of malignant cancer (Kaufman, 2019; Sieber et al., 2020). Two examples of chemical carcinogens include asbestos and tobacco smoke. Asbestos is a mineral fibre that is known to cause cancer in the lungs and other respiratory organs. Tobacco smoke is composed of many carcinogenic chemicals that are known to cause a variety of cancers, including lung cancer and oral cancer (Sieber et al., 2020). Cont…
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