Published: | Updated: October 23, 2017

Definition - What does Carcinogens mean?

Carcinogens are substances that can cause the body's cells to become cancerous by altering their genetic structure, so that they multiply continuously through mitosis without programmed cell death. This is when a cancer becomes malignant. Carcinogens cause cancer by directly influencing DNA through ionizing radiation or they can cause cells to multiply at a faster rate than normal, which can indirectly cause problems.

Safeopedia explains Carcinogens

In every organism a process called apoptosis regulates cell numbers and stops cancers from forming. Apoptosis is cell suicide or "programmed cell death." This happens for various reasons in organisms including regulation of cell numbers and helping to form the complex shapes in the body. It happens on a large scale with, sometimes, over half of cells formed dying when at full health.

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