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Friday, July 26, 2013

5 Places You Never Thought to Look for Cancer

You may have heard it said that everyone has cancer cells somewhere in their body. This is not entirely accurate. Normal cell function is to grow, divide and replace cells that die, or to repair cells damaged by injuries. Cancer is caused when cells abnormally start to grow out of control and invade other tissues. These are the kind of cells that many people have in their bodies and are not aware of it.

Carcinogens are cancer-causing agents that increase the risk of cancer growth. Carcinogens are found in cigarettes, preservatives in processed foods, soft drinks, overheated carbohydrate foods like French fries and potato chips, snack foods, chlorine used to disinfect water, and the list goes on. Much information has been published on products that contain carcinogens. But here are 5 places you may have never thought to look.

1. Styrofoam - think of all the places where Styrofoam is used: coffee cups, packing material, paper plates. You can find out if the Styrofoam brand you buy contains leach styrene, a leading suspected carcinogen by the American Cancer Society, by looking for a "6" on the bottom. Do not heat foods in Styrofoam, and if at all possible, avoid Styrofoam altogether.

2. Laundry detergent - some laundry detergents contain 1,4-dioxane, a carcinogen. Look for these chemicals on the label as they may indicate the presence of dioxane: Polyethylene, polyethylene glycol, PEG, polyoxyethylene, or words containing “oxynol” or “eth”.

3. Bread, chips and French fries and donuts - high-carb foods like these cooked at high temperatures can trigger the formation of a chemical called acrylamide. It's the same chemical used to treat wastewater, and it's a carcinogen.

4. Brown rice - some brands of brown rice contain arsenic. You can alleviate the risk by preparing brown rice properly. Rinse well before cooking and cook the rice in lots of water; a 6:1 ratio is recommended. Drain well before eating and limit servings to no more than two a week.

5. Wrinkle-free fabrics - they look great and are maintenance free, but they contain Formaldehyde. Yes, the same chemical used in embalming. According to the California Environmental Protection Agency, by washing wrinkle-free clothing before they come in contact with the skin, formaldehyde emissions can be reduced by 60 percent.
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