Carcinogens can be defined as potential cancer-causing agents that are found within our natural (air, water, soil), social (lifestyle and dietary choices, voluntary vs. involuntary exposures), and built (synthetic chemicals, pharmaceuticals, radioactive substances) environments. Carcinogens can induce cancer in an organism and as such, the biological environment (genetics, aging, sex) plays a role in the degree of vulnerability to the carcinogen(s) in question. Bacteria, parasites, and viruses have also been implicated for their role in cancer causation; their impact varies depending on the biological environment.

The most direct method to evaluate the effect(s) of a carcinogen is through the use of animal models.


According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the most recent description of the categories of agents includes “both ‘specific' as well ...

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