Dr. Clark Lantz's responses to the following
1. What is cancer?
Cancer isn't just one disease, but over 100 different diseases. Cancer
may have similar developments within the body, but have different
causes in different organs in the body. Organs are affected by different
chemicals. For example, what causes cancer in the liver may not affect
What does your research show about arsenic's connection to cancer?
shows the co-effect of cigarette smoke and arsenic inhalation and
how they might affect the lungs. Animals given cigarette smoke in
low doses and arsenic in low doses by themselves show no affects;
but given together, there were potential changes in the lungs, which
could lead to the development of cancer cells.
How do people "get" cancer?
Cancer is a
multi-step disease. Many things have to happen before renegade
cells develop into a tumor. Cancer is also thought to occur over
a long time span; tens of years. Numerous molecular sites have
to be attacked and numerous things in the cells have to happen
in order for cancer to develop. Genetic make-up, diet and health
status also determines whether or not you'll develop cancer.
Does arsenic in water promote cancer the same way it can through
that arsenic will cause lung cancer through inhalation or from water
ingestion. It's not known exactly what mechanism is used by arsenic
to cause cancer. What is known is that both routes of exposure will
target the lungs for increased risk of developing lung cancer. The
mechanisms that may be involved are again, self-proliferation or
increasing the already cancerous cells, or the DNA repair mechanism
of cells already damaged.
Does arsenic cause cancer?
classified as a human carcinogen, but not a direct-acting carcinogen.
It's a co-carcinogen, which means it acts in concert with other
carcinogens to produce cancers partly due to self-proliferation
or due to affects on DNA repair. Arsenic has been linked to skin,
bladder and lung cancers. It's not really known why these particular
organs are targets of arsenic. It may be due to the accessibility
of arsenic compounds by these organs.
Environmental Health Sciences Center
University of Arizona College of Pharmacy, Room 244
PO Box 210207, Tucson, AZ, USA 85721-0207 email@example.com