15 Dangerous Things Experts Have Linked to Cancer

Cancer is the No. 2 cause of death in the US, second only to heart disease. It fundamentally affects the way our cells grow and divide, changing them in perverse ways. All cancer is a result of damage or genetic mutations in our DNA. The nasty, debilitating class of diseases spreads through a body like an invading army, as toxic cells grow relentlessly into unruly tumors.

Some cases of cancer are out of our control, determined by genetic defects and predispositions passed down from one generation to the next, or spurred by genetic changes we undergo through our lifetime. But we also know breathing in certain substances, eating specific things, and even using some kinds of plastics ups the risk of developing some deadly cancers.

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