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J Toxicol. 2011;2011:431287. doi: 10.1155/2011/431287. Epub 2011 Nov 15.

Arsenic exposure and the induction of human cancers.

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1
Department of Integrative Oncology, British Columbia Cancer Research Centre, 675 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver, BC, Canada V5Z 1L3.

Abstract

Arsenic is a metalloid, that is, considered to be a human carcinogen. Millions of individuals worldwide are chronically exposed through drinking water, with consequences ranging from acute toxicities to development of malignancies, such as skin and lung cancer. Despite well-known arsenic-related health effects, the molecular mechanisms involved are not fully understood; however, the arsenic biotransformation process, which includes methylation changes, is thought to play a key role. This paper explores the relationship of arsenic exposure with cancer development and summarizes current knowledge of the potential mechanisms that may contribute to the neoplastic processes observed in arsenic exposed human populations.

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