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Fish contains carcinogens, the more you eat, the greater the risk of cancer?

Is there so much cancer now because of too much pollution?

By Lhasa GermanyPublished 6 months ago 8 min read

Past studies have found that reducing red meat and increasing the proportion of white meat in the diet is better for health and has a positive effect on cancer prevention, making fish a dietary choice for many people.

However, the results of a recent study published in the journal Cancer Etiology and Control suggested that higher total fish intake, tuna intake, and non-fried fish intake were positively associated with the risk of malignant melanoma and melanoma in situ. In other words, eating too much fish may induce melanoma.

Why has fish become "unsafe"? How to prevent cancer? After reading the article, you may have an idea.

A. U.S. Study: The more fish you eat, the greater the risk of skin cancer

A large study of U.S. adults suggests that eating more fish (including tuna and non-fried fish) may be associated with an increased risk of developing skin cancer.

The study reportedly involved 491,000 U.S. adults, with an average age of 62. Researchers counted the frequency and portion size of fish they ate in a year, taking into account individual differences, including weight, dietary structure, history of smoking and alcohol, genetic history, and other factors.

The results showed that people who consumed more than 42.8 grams of fish per day had a 22 percent higher risk of developing malignant melanoma than those who ate 3.2 grams of fish per day. In addition, eating too much fish increased the probability of abnormal cells on the outer surface of the skin by 28 percent, which is also known as precancerous lesions.

The study's participating scholars said the reason for the fish-cancer link could be attributed to contaminants in fish, such as PCBs, dioxins, arsenic, and mercury, which are also clear carcinogens that are not beneficial to the body when ingested.

Instead, the source of the contaminants could be increased land use, illegal discharges, or climate change, causing these chemicals to enter the water and accumulate in the fish, eventually appearing again on people's tables.

Although a clearer relationship between contaminants in fish and cancer needs to be further researched and analyzed, pollution is certainly an inescapable part of exploring the causative factors of cancer, and it is an area worthy of priority research.

II. Is the reason why there are so many cancers nowadays because pollution is too serious?

"There are so many cancers nowadays because the pollution problem is too serious! There is not a clean living environment!"

When discussing the problem of cancer occurrence, such a viewpoint inevitably appears. It is true that although pollution is not the only cause of cancer, it is indeed closely related to the occurrence of cancer. Air pollution, water pollution, food pollution, including environmental pollution caused by indoor decoration, may all be important factors for the increase in cancer incidence.

1. Air pollution (including indoor and outdoor)

More and more epidemiological studies have confirmed that air pollution is the "culprit" of many diseases. Whether outdoor or indoor, long-term exposure to pollution will directly affect the respiratory system and increase the probability of cardiovascular diseases, such as stroke and heart disease, as well as lung diseases.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has long classified outdoor air pollution as a class of carcinogens and considers it one of the major environmental causes of many types of cancer, including but not limited to lung, oral, and breast cancers. For example, a study of 352,053 lung cancer patients in California, USA, confirmed that men had a significantly increased risk of lung cancer and a significantly higher mortality rate when the concentration of PM10 and PM2.5 in the air was high.

In addition, studies have shown that cancer patients have an increased risk of death if they are exposed to polluted air for long periods, and results from a prospective cohort study in Italy in 2011 showed that environmental exposure to incineration was a risk factor for increased deaths from the stomach, colorectal, liver, and breast cancers in women. Another large survey of 623,000 people in the United States also showed that PM2.5 concentrations were associated with an increased risk of death from urological and digestive cancers, with each 4.4µg/m3 increase in PM2.5 concentration associated with a 13% increase in the risk of death from bladder cancer and a 13% increase in the risk of death from kidney cancer.

Anxiety about air pollution does not help prevent and control tumors; it is what we can do that matters. For everyone, the actions we can take are: drive less one day and travel more in a green way; reduce fireworks and do garbage sorting; turn on fewer air conditioners and develop the habit of saving energy; and after renovating a new home, ventilate it for at least 3 to 6 months before living; improve personal protection and wear protective masks when necessary, etc.

2、Water pollution

Water is the source of life, if the source of life is polluted, there is no way to talk about health.

On June 25, 2014, the digital version of Atlas of Water Environment and Gastrointestinal Tract Tumor Deaths in Huaihe River Basin, the result of an 8-year study by a team of experts from the Chinese CDC, was published, confirming for the first time the direct relationship between the high incidence of cancer and water pollution.

Before the reform and opening up, it was a typical agricultural county with no pollution, and the tumor mortality rate was lower than the national average. However, from 2004 to 2006, the local childhood (malignant) tumor mortality rate was 188.81/100,000, while the national average for the same period was about 120/100,000. Faced with such an obvious contrast, many people pointed the finger at the local water pollution problem.

To explore the relationship between cancer and water pollution, the research team investigated the data on diet, drinking water, smoking, cancer incidence, and mortality of residents in the basin area, and set the data of residents in areas with non-Huaihe water sources for drinking water as a control group to follow up and monitor the same indicators. Eventually, it was found that the prevalence of digestive tract tumors (e.g., esophageal and gastric cancer) in the study area was equivalent to five times that in the control area among the two groups with comparable dietary, smoking, and alcohol habits.

Based on these findings, the book's first author, Yang Gonghuan, former deputy director of the Chinese CDC and professor at Peking Union Medical College, said in an interview that "this comparison makes it obvious that the causative factors of water pollution have surfaced."

Drinking water safety is closely related to each of us, for the sake of our health, we should not drink raw untreated water, water should be thoroughly boiled and cooled before drinking; buy buckets of water for families to regularly clean the inside of the water dispenser, those who have the conditions can install home water purifiers. At the same time, we should also consciously regulate our behavior, not throw waste into the water body, and conserve water in daily life, to protect our precious water resources.

3、Food pollution

Food safety and the environment are closely related, from the production of raw materials to packaging and transportation, a clean and hygienic environment is a prerequisite for food safety. However, in reality, from the raw materials, and processing, to the catering utensils of each link, may bring in pathogenic microorganisms to contaminate food and drink, increasing the risk of food safety.

The main sources of food contamination are biological contamination (pests, biotoxins), chemical contamination (fertilizers, chemical toxins, heavy metals, pesticide and veterinary drug residues, antibiotics, hormones, feed additives, etc.), and physical contamination (radioactive contamination, water, air, impurities, etc.), of which aflatoxin contamination and pesticide residues are of great concern.

Medical research has confirmed that aflatoxin is a strong carcinogenic agent. Animal experiments have shown that mixed with 20% moldy peanut cake (containing high levels of aflatoxin) feeding 11 rats, six months later there is nine liver cancer, of which two have metastasized to the lungs. The regional survey also found that in Africa and Southeast Asia, high temperatures, humid places, and aflatoxin pollution are serious human liver cancer incidence is higher.

Organochlorine pesticide is currently one of the main pesticide residues leading to the contamination of vegetables and fruits in China. Organochlorine is composed of polychlorinated biphenyls, DDT, chlorinated dioxins, and furans. These drugs enter the human body with food, and mainly accumulate in fatty tissue as well as the liver, kidney, spleen, brain, and other parts of the accumulation to a certain degree will cause a variety of diseases. Currently, tetrachloro-p-dioxin has been classified as a carcinogen in animal studies by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), and it mainly affects the growth of tumors, so it is also classified as a human carcinogen.

Therefore, to keep away from cancer, we need to be alert to "cancer by mouth". We should consume fresh food and avoid moldy food in our daily life; choose the cooking method reasonably and avoid raw food as much as possible, and reduce the intake of video additives to reduce the accumulation of food chemical pollutants in the human body, otherwise, it will have long-term and serious potential health hazards to human health and future generations.

Conclusion: Polluted living environment is related to the occurrence of many tumors, such as pollution of air, drinking water, and food by harmful factors, the most serious harm to people is cancer. Therefore, to promote scientific cancer prevention, the key is to eliminate and reduce the stimulation of cancer-causing factors in the environment. In addition, we should recognize and deal with precancerous lesions to prevent the occurrence of cancer from pathogenesis; we should also pay attention to "three early", i.e. early detection, early diagnosis, and early treatment, and advocate regular health examination and self-examination to cure cancer in early stage.


About the Creator

Lhasa Germany

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