CARCINOGENS

carcinogen

Carcinogens are commonly asked in medical exams (be it USMLE, PLAB, NEET).

Direct one-liners are asked about which carcinogen causes which cancer, and the mechanism of the carcinogenicity.

More commonly though, exposure to carcinogen(s) is mentioned as a clinical clue in Clinical Vignettes, where the clue often clinches the diagnosis.

Go through the following HIGH YIELD TABLE several times and commit every single one to memory.

Chemical AgentsCancer Caused
AsbestosMesothelioma
Androgens, AflatoxinHepatocellular carcinoma
Vinyl chlorideHepatic angiosarcoma
Alcohol (Fetal alcohol syndrome), prenatal phenytoinNeuroblastoma
CyclophosphamideBladder cancer, leukemia
Aniline dyesBladder cancer
Intramuscular iron Sarcoma at injection site
PesticidesPossible leukemia, brain tumours
BenzeneLeukemia, myelodydplasia
PhytoestrogensReduced risk for breast cancer
chloramphenicol , Alkylating agents, Topoisomerase II inhibitorsLeiukemia
Immunosuppressant drugs , PhenytoinLymphoma
Microbiologic agentsCancer Caused
Hepatitis B,C virusesHepatic carcinoma
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)Leiomyosarcoma
Schistosoma hemotabium Bladder carcinoma
Clonorchis sinesisBiliary tract cancer
Epstein-Barr virusAfrican Burkitt’s lymphoma, nasopharyngeal carcinoma, post- transplant lymphoma
Human herpes virus 8Kaposi’s sarcoma
Human papilloma virus Cervical cancer
Human T Lymphotropic virus IT-cell lymphoma
Simian virus 40Possible ependymoma, choroidb plexus tumour, oesteosarcoma,mesothelioma

Another question that is asked on the topic goes something like this

Which of the following is NOT a carcinogen?
A) ___________
B) ___________
C) ___________
D) ___________


To answer a question like this, you would need to go through this comprehensive list of known carcinogens.

I know it is difficult to remember, but do give it a read, since this one is an important topic.

A

Acetaldehyde
2-Acetylaminofluorene
Acrylamide
Acrylonitrile
Aldrin
4-Aminodiphenyl
Amitrole
Aniline and homologs
o-Anisidine
Arsenic and inorganic arsenic compounds
Arsine
Asbestos
Asphalt fumes

B

Benzene
Benzidine
Benzidine-based dyes
Beryllium
Butadiene
tert-Butyl chromate; class, chromium hexavalent

C

Cadmium dust and fume
Captafol
Captan
Carbon black (exceeding 0.1% PAHs)
Carbon tetrachloride
Chlordane
Chlorinated camphene
Chlorodiphenyl (42% chlorine); class polychlorinated biphenyls
Chlorodiphenyl (54% chlorine); class polychlorinated biphenyls
Chloroform
Chloromethyl methyl ether
bis(Chloromethyl) ether
B-Chloroprene
Chromium, hexavalent [Cr(VI)]
Chromyl chloride; class, chromium hexavalent
Chrysene
Coal tar pitch volatiles; class, coal tar products
Coke oven emissions

D

DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane)
Di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP)
2,4-Diaminoanisoleo
o-Dianisidine-based dyes
1,2-Dibromo-3-chloropropane (DBCP)
Dichloroacetylene
p-Dichlorobenzene
3,3′-Dichlorobenzidine
Dichloroethyl ether
1,3-Dichloropropene
Dieldrin
Diesel exhaust
Diglycidyl ether (DGE); class, glycidyl ethers
4-Dimethylaminoazobenzene
Dimethyl carbomoyl chloride
1,1-Dimethylhydrazine; class, hydrazines
Dimethyl sulfate
Dinitrotoluene
Dioxane

E-G

Environmental tobacco smoke
Epichlorohydrin
Ethyl acrylate
Ethylene dibromide
Ehtylene dichloride
Ethylene oxide
Ethyleneimine
Ethylene thiourea
Formaldehyde
Gallium arsenide
Gasoline

H-K

Heptachlor
Hexachlorobutadiene
Hexachloroethane
Hexamethyl phosphoric triamide (HMPA)
Hydrazine
Kepone

M

Malonaldehyde
Methoxychlor
Methyl bromide; class, monohalomethanes
Methyl chloride
Methyl iodide; class, monohalomethanes
Methyl hydrazine; class, hydrazines
4,4′-Methylenebis(2-chloroaniline) (MBOCA)
Methylene chloride
4,4-Methylenedianiline (MDA)

N

α-Naphthylamine  (alpha-naphthylamine)
β-Naphthylamine  (beta-naphthylamine)
Nickel, metal, soluble, insoluble, and inorganic; class, nickel, inorganic
Nickel carbonyl
Nickel sulfide roasting
4-Nitrobiphenyl
p-Nitrochlorobenzene
2-Nitronaphthalene
2-Nitropropane
N-Nitrosodimethylamine

P

Pentachloroethane; class, chloroethanes
N-Phenyl-b-naphthylamine; class, b-naphthalene
Phenyl glycidyl ether; class, glycidyl ethers
Phenylhydrazine; class, hydrazines
Propane Sultone
B-Propiolactone
Propylene dichloride
Proplyene imine
Propylene oxide

R-S

Radon
Rosin core solder, pyrolysis products (containing formaldehyde)
Silica, crystalline cristobalite
Silica, crystalline quartz
Silica, crystalline tripoli
Silica, crystalline tridymite
silica, fused
Soapstone, total dust silicates

T

Tremolite silicates
2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) (dioxin)
1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane
Tetrachloroethylene
Titanium dioxide
o-Tolidine-based dyes
o-Tolidine
Toluene diisocyanate (TDI)
Toluene diamine (TDA)
o-Toluidine
p-Toluidine
1,1,2-Trichloroethane; class, chloroethanes
Trichloroethylene
1,2,3-Trichloropropane

U-Z

Uranium, insoluble compounds Uranium, soluble compounds
Vinyl bromide; class, vinyl halides
Vinyl chloride
Vinyl cyclohexene dioxide
Vinylidene chloride (1,1-dichloroethylene); class, vinyl halides)
Welding fumes, total particulates
Wood dust
Zinc chromate; class, chromium hexavalent

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