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New Cancer-Causing Agents Identified by US Department of Health

Nov 08, 2016 03:58 AM EST
FThe National Institutes of Health published a report adding seven substances that have been classified as carcinogens. These include five viruses, a chemical and a metallic element added in the list of known carcinogens.
(Photo : Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

According to studies conducted by the World Health Organization as detailed by, cancer is amongst the leading causes of death in the US. Last Nov. 3, 2016, the National Institutes of Health published a report adding seven substances that have been classified as carcinogens.

Based on research, more than 1.5 million people would be diagnosed with cancer this year. More than a third of that number would succumb to the disease. More than a personal health issue, cancer accounts for more than $100 billion in expenditure in 2010. Because of the impact of cancer to the individual and the nation, research surrounding the disease has been continuous.

In the report as published in the NIH's official website, Dr. Linda Birnbaum, director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, explains that the report is important especially in making the public aware of the substances that they have to be wary of.

"The listings in this report, particularly the viruses, bring attention to the important role that prevention can play in reducing the world's cancer burden. There are also things people can do to reduce their exposure to cobalt and TCE" quipped Birnbaum in the recently published research.

The seven substances include five viruses namely Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1, Epstein-Barr virus, Kaposi Sarcoma-associated herpesvirus, Human immunodeficiency virus type 1, and Merkel cell polyomavirus. Trichloroethylene or TCE, commonly used as an industrial solvent, and Cobalt, which is used for military equipment and rechargeable batteries, are also named as one of the seven new carcinogens.

While the seven substances are classified as carcinogens, exposure to them does not necessarily result to the development of cancer. More factors affect the susceptibility to the disease. Heredity, length of exposure, and the overall health of the immune system are some of the other factors that can contribute to the development of the dreaded Big C.

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