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any substance or agent that tends to produce a cancer.
(pathol) any substance that produces cancer

“cancer-causing substance,” 1853, from carcinoma + -gen.

carcinogen car·cin·o·gen (kär-sĭn’ə-jən, kär’sə-nə-jěn’)
A cancer-causing substance or agent.
car’cin·o·gen’ic (kär’sə-nə-jěn’ĭk) adj.
A substance or agent that can cause cells to become cancerous by altering their genetic structure so that they multiply continuously and become malignant. Asbestos, DDT, and tobacco smoke are examples of carcinogens.


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