You have been invited to submit an article to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Annual journal for this year. After doing research on environmental carcinogenesis, write a descriptive essay on the topic “The Environment and Cancer – My Biomedical Perspective”.
The Environment and Cancer – My Biomedical Perspective – Sample Essay
Environment Carcinogenesis and Cancer
Environmental carcinogens refer to substances that human are exposed to through occupation, infectious agents, lifestyle and diet. They are regarded as non-genetic factors which contribute risk of getting cancer. A subset of reasonably anticipated and known human carcinogens can be categorized as environmental carcinogens and include compounds such as pesticides components, metals, dioxins, mineral fibers that include asbestos and erionite, and the polyaromatic hydrocarbon (Sabo-Attaword 234).
These contaminants are key constituents of outdoor and indoor air, soil and water pollution as well as food products. The principles for deciding if a substance is carcinogenic is being modified constantly as our carcinogenesis understanding and technology evolve. However, the level of exposure to environment contaminants is highly related to the chances of developing cancer. This level of exposure is determined based on exposure route, composition, duration and dosage (Parsa 2).
Environment Carcinogen Mechanisms
Cancer involves multistage process which entails initiation of tumor, tumor promotion and advancement. Environmental carcinogen can advance or initiate this process by changing activity and expression of genes vital to biological processes which uphold apoptosis, cell growth, differentiation, cell-cycle control, and DNA repair. Environmental carcinogens act via genetic mechanisms, directly interacting with DNA. Some are activated metabolically to reactive molecules which create covalent lesions with DNA initiating mutations in genes essential to process that include DNA repair and cell-cycle regulation (Sabo-Attaword 233).
Environmental carcinogenic might as well act via epigenetic mechanisms such that they do not change the genome directly, but cause initiated cells mitogenic expansion by modifying genes expression which control cell death and proliferation. Alterations in DNA methylation, cellular communication, oxidative stress, and growth factor motioning pathways are said to contribute to carcinogenesis (Sabo-Attaword 234).
Examples of environmental Carcinogens
There are different environment carcinogens which contribute to development of different cancers in human. For instance, exposure to esbestos is basically linked to lung cancer while exposure to dyes chemical known as benzidine is related to development of bladder cancer (Parsa 3). In addition, exposure to tobacco is related to lungs cancer pancreas, bladder, liver, mouth, cervix, colon, stomach, kidney, lip, throat, esophagus, and voice box.
Exposure to some viral and bacterial infections is also related to development of different cancers. For instance, Human papillomaviruses is related to cervical cancer, and Helicobacter Pylori is related to stomach cancer (Parsa 4-5). Other environmental carcinogenic include ionized radiations such as UV lights which are associated with skin cancer. Obesity is also related to esophagus, colon, kidney, endometrial and breast cancer (Niehs 6-9).
Environmental Carcinogens preventive Measures
The best preventive measures to employ include knowing and being able to identify environmental carcinogens and try to avoid them where possibly. This can highly be possible especially in food carcinogens and drugs such as tobacco and alcohol. Another measure is to employ safety measures while being exposed to carcinogenic environment. For instance, one should wear recommended safety gear while handling different chemicals. Companies should always maintain the work environment in the recommendable safety level.
People should also consider substituting unsafe procedures with more safety assured operational procedures. For instance, one should consider mechanical weeding than use of pesticide or application of organic farming compared to inorganic farming. Other preventive measures include checking on body weight and checking on personal diet and lifestyles. Although no activity guarantee a cancer free life, people should try reducing the risk factors by employing preventive measures.