10 Things You Never Knew Caused Cancer (Guest Post by selflifehacks.com)

I’d like to thank DR N. Ramya from SELF LIFE HACKS (selflifehacks.com) for contributing this very informative article. Head on over to her site (linked above) to learn more about her work. She is very open to networking with other bloggers and website owners. She is a doctor by profession: An ENT, head and neck surgeon from the prestigious JIPMER, Pondicherry, India. She has this huge passion to keep everything on paper and has written articles in various journals regarding human papillomavirus (HPV) in cancer patients and snoring articles in various health related platforms. She started SELF LIFE HACKS to help people learn about the recent advances that are going on around us that can make life easier regarding mental and physical health.

What are some of the weirdest things that cause cancer?

Over 150 000 people die every day. The second most common cause of the death in world is nothing but CANCER. There various discoveries coming up in day to day life that are exposing new things which were once neglected by us, but actually predispose us to cancer promotion within the body.

Out of many such things, there are a few items which are research proven to cause cancer through long term usage.

1. Using plastic water bottles

Water being poured from a plastic bottle.jpg
Yes, the regular use of plastic water bottles holds the potent risk of developing cancer. The reason seems to be the bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical which is present in plastic water bottles. BPA can lead to the development of breast cancer. This chemical compound also has a weak estrogenic (hormonal) effect that can cause hormonal imbalances in the body. BPA can lead to various health hazards.

How can it be prevented?

  • Use ceramic or glass water bottles
  • See that the bottles that you are drinking from have a BPA-free label written on it
  • Also reduce canned food usage as much as possible

2. Sitting a for long time

Boy sitting on chair.jpg
It is good to relax and enjoy yourself every once in a while, but when it gets to the point of being too lazy and restricting yourself from getting out of that chair; health risks start to emerge their ugly head. Scientists have found, through various studies, that sitting too much could be a potent risk factor for various cancers like lung cancer, endometrial cancer and colon cancer.

How can it be prevented?

  • Motivate yourself to do daily exercise

Daily physical activity, around parks in your neighborhood for example, have not only proven to be beneficial for physical health but for mental health as well.

3. Doing night shifts

Man working in the night.jpg
In today’s day and era, nights shifts are unfortunately inevitable for many.

Researches have expressed the need for improvement in this sector. Women who do night shifts for more than 30 years have a higher chance of developing the breast cancer, compared to the equivalent day worker. The reason seems to be associated with the production of melatonin in the brain.

How can it be prevented?

  • It is always better to avoid night shifts because they can cause lots of mental stress
  • Night googles that can filter out blue light can be helpful by preventing the melatonin sleep axis changes in the brain.

4. Eating smoked meat

Heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are found in processed meat. These are the main culprits in the promotion of the cancers when you eat an unnaturally occurring meat. These chemicals are produced in meat when they are processed. They interact with the DNA of our cells, leading to the cancer formation of cancers like blood and bowel cancer.

How can it be prevented?

  • Avoid direct heating of meat on metal and direct flames. Also avoid burning of meat before eating it
  • Remove charred meat from food that has been cooked or barbecued 

5. Drinking too much sugary beverages and hot drinks

soft fizzy drinks.jpgYou should limit your daily intake of drinks which contain high amounts of artificial sweeteners – like soft drinks. This includes other drinks like alcohol and hot drinks loaded with sugars. The American Cancer Society has proven, many times over, that alcohol is linked to throat, lung and bowel cancer.

How can it be prevented?

  • Limit the amount of sugary, carbonated or alcoholic beverages that you consume

A limited amount of alcohol has actually been proved to be beneficial to overall health, but having more than 1 or 2 drinks should be prevented. This reverses its health-boosting benefits.

6. Avoid scented candles

a bunch of candles
Benzene and toluene are the two chemicals which are the main culprits for the development of the cancerous activity when inhaling smoke from burning scented candles. Possible cancers include lung cancer, as per the United States Environmental Protection Agency and Stanford University.

How can it be prevented?

  • Avoid using the scented candles and replace them with normal ones.

7. Make up and cosmetics

cosmetic brushes and utensils.jpg
Yes, many cosmetics contain a lot of unhealthy chemicals. Dangerous chemicals commonly found in many cosmetics, parabens, can lead to potent cancer development. As per research done by the American Cancer Society, these chemicals can move into breast cells and cause the development of the breast cancer.

How can it be prevented?

  • It is the healthiest to avoid the cosmetics whenever possible, but if this is not an option, check the labels of the cosmetic item and choose products that are paraben free.

8. Not drinking enough water

woman drinking water.jpg
Yes, failure to drink enough water can also promote the development of cancer. Studies have shown that people who consume less water have increased bladder-related cancer formations.

How can it be prevented?

  • It is advised to drink 2 to 3 liters of water daily to remove potentially harmful chemicals from the body

9. Not using sun screen

mother applying sunscreen to son.jpg
There are certain places in the world that have higher rates of skin cancers, compared to others. By comparing these places, we come to a startling discovery.

The main reason why skin cancer is more common among areas with greater sun exposure is because of the harmful UV rays found in sun light. These rays lead to cancers like melanoma (a type of skin cancer).

How can it be prevented?

Using sunscreens can help limit the reach of the two types of UV radiation on our skin cells: UV A and UV B. These two radiation waves have the potential risk of developing cancer. Applying sunscreen 20 minutes before going out into the sun has proved to reduce 90 percent of skin cancers.

10. Using talcum powder:

baby powder.jpg

Yes, this might be shocking for you in particular, but the use of talcum powder on the perineal region of women has shown to encourage the development of endometrial cancer (uterus cancer). The percentage increase in risk is shown to be about 25% in woman who have used this powder on sensitive regions.

How can it be prevented?

  • As talcum powder is a chemically synthesized product, it is better to avoid the regular usage of these chemicals


There are various daily activities, which we are not aware of, that can lead to cancer development. For any disease development (such as cancer), our bodies need both external and internal environmentally favoring conditions to develop the disease. Internal environments include cell functions and genes. External environments include external factors and causes that can lead to diseases like smoking and alcohol abuse. These are many external causative factors that can lead to cancer formation. Avoiding these items while taking a few precautions can lead to prevention of many health issues like cancer.

If you enjoyed my article, feel free to read more of my published work at selflifehacks.com.


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