To hear audio pronunciation of this topic, purchase a subscription or log in.

[carcino- + -gen]
Any substance or agent that produces cancer or increases the risk of developing cancer in humans or animals. SEE TABLE: Carcinogens
carcinogenic (kar″sĭ-nō-jen′ik)
To hear audio pronunciation of this topic, purchase a subscription or log in.
, adj.
CarcinogenType of AgentOrgans or Tissues Commonly DamagedComments
Alcohol consumptionConsumer toxinUpper aerodigestive tracts, esp. mouth and pharynx and larynxEffect is most pronounced in people who smoke
ArsenicChemicalBlood, bone marrow, digestive tract, skin, urinary bladder, other organ systemsMay contaminate water supply
AsbestosMineralRespiratory tract, pleura and peritoneumAssociated with lung cancers and mesotheliomas. Effect is most pronounced in people who have smoked
Cigarette smokeConsumer toxinAerodigestive tracts, other organsAlso a major cause of cardiovascular disease
FormaldehydeChemicalNasopharynx, blood and bone marrowUsed as an embalming agent
Hepatitis BVirusLiverExposure to blood or body fluids
Hepatitis CVirusLiverExposure to blood or body fluids
Human PapillomavirusVirusEpithelial cells of the oropharynx and genitaliaInterpersonal contact, e.g., sexually transmitted
Mustard GasChemicalBlistering agentFirst used in WWI
Smokeless tobaccoConsumer toxinOropharynx, gastrointestinal tractRetained in the buccal mucosa. Also known as “spit tobacco”
Sunshine (solar radiation/ ultraviolet radiation)PhysicalSkin, mucous membranesCause of basal cell, squamous cell carcinomas, melanoma. Outdoor exposures or indoor (tanning booths)
Vinyl chlorideChemicalLiver, possibly brainUsed in the chemical industry to make plastic/ polymers
X-rays and other forms of ionizing radiationPhysicalMany organs, depending on those that are penetratedUsed in diagnostic applications in health care; exposure to radioactive elements

There's more to see -- the rest of this topic is available only to subscribers.