I know, I know. Everything freakin’ causes cancer. There is no doubt you know someone who has died from cancer, and according to the National Cancer Institute, this year will see more than 1.6 million diagnosed with cancer – and another 500,000 people dying from it.
What sucks about cancer-causing warnings, is we often don’t realize some of the causes until it is too late. Take for instance asbestos. Used mainly in construction material in the mid-1900s, it wasn’t until the 1970s that real evidence of it causing cancer emerged. By that time, many households, schools, and office buildings in the United States already contained the material.
With that in mind, there are many things that we are just now discovering cause cancer. Here are five weird things that you probably weren’t aware can cause cancer:
1. Baby Powder. Oh, yes. I said baby powder. Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen a surprising slew of baby powder lawsuits, mainly filed against Johnson and Johnson. According to testimony, prolonged daily use of talcum powder has caused ovarian cancer in litigants. But, don’t get too nervous, cases currently only involve those who used the product daily for a period of five or more years. Even though many of us use baby powder for weird reasons such as when we’re out of dry shampoo, or we chafed our thighs – it’s not as common to use it every single day.
2. Makeup. Well, sort of. Parabens are a chemical that is contained in many cosmetics. Nearly all people diagnosed with breast cancer have parabens in their body. The chemical interferes with the body’s hormones with health risks that include cancers and fertility problems. There is currently nothing that proves the relation between makeup and cancer, but neither was there with asbestos in the 1950s. Luckily, there are a ton of paraben-free makeup items to choose from these days, even from the top makeup brands.
3. Sunscreen. Go figure. The one thing we use to help reduce our risk of skin cancer is a likely cause of cancer. Sunscreen contains chemicals which, similar to parabens in makeup, can interfere with the normal functions of your hormones. So, while you may be saving yourself from skin cancer, you are exposing yourself to other types.
4. Diesel Fumes. Diesel stinks. Just think of those times you are stuck behind that truck on the roadway. But, in addition to the smell, the fumes have been linked to lung cancer. The World Health Organization places it as a Group 1 carcinogen which is the worst type of cancer causing agent. In Australia, diesel fumes are the second leading cancer causing agent in the workplace. The fumes come from more than just vehicles, including heating units and backup generators.
5. Sugar. We all know that sugar is related to diabetes, but what about cancer? A recent study found that having a diet high in sugar puts you at a major risk for certain cancers, the most common being breast cancer. One of the most horrifying things about the study is that sugar can also increase the spread of cancer due to its effect on the inflammatory pathway that fuels cancer growth.
The fact is that there are many things out there that cause cancer. Some we know about and some we will find out the hard way. At this point nothing surprises us anymore.