Can Incense Give You Cancer?

People have been using incense for thousands of years for a variety of reasons. These include religious worship, aromatherapy, meditation and ceremony.

Burning incense can add high levels of particulate matter and other harmful chemicals to the air in your home. These can travel to your lungs and cause health problems.

Respiratory Tract Cancer

When you breathe, air goes through your nose, down your windpipe (trachea) and into your lungs. It then flows through tubes called bronchi.

Cancer cells can grow out of control in the lining of these bronchi, causing lung cancer. They can also spread to other parts of the body, including the lymph system and blood vessels.

Lung cancer is usually treated with surgery to remove the tumor and nearby lymph nodes. Other treatment options include radiation therapy, chemotherapy and immunotherapy drugs.

The type of lung cancer you have, the stage at which it is diagnosed and your general health all affect how well you do. Early-stage lung cancers have the best survival and cure rates.

When cancer is found in the later stages, it may still be treatable, but it is often difficult to control. The goal is to keep the cancer under control and to relieve symptoms so you can enjoy a good quality of life.

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is when abnormal cells grow in one or both of your lungs. It can be detected through a physical exam, CT scan, or other tests that look for signs of the disease. Treatment depends on the stage of the cancer, which is how big it is and how far it has spread.

The risk of lung cancer is higher if you smoke, so it’s important to quit smoking. It’s also important to know that some incense contains carcinogens, so you need to be careful about what you buy and how often you burn it.

A study involving more than 60-thousand people in Singapore found that those who regularly burned incense had an increased risk of respiratory cancers such as throat and nasal cancer, but not lung cancer.

Researchers aren’t sure why it happens, but it could be because some of the chemicals in incense smoke cause mutations in DNA. It may also increase the effects of oxidative stress, which is another known factor that can lead to cancer.

Breast Cancer

Cancer occurs when your cells don’t divide or die at the right rate. This happens because of mutations in genes that normally control cell growth.

In a healthy body, natural systems control the creation, growth and death of cells. When the systems don’t work correctly, too much cell growth forms a tumor.

The tumor may grow slowly, or it might become large enough to cause symptoms. It can also spread to other parts of your body, which is called metastasis.

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers among women. It affects mainly women over the age of 50.

A mammogram, MRI or ultrasound can help your doctor find cancer. The doctor may also remove a small piece of tissue from your breast, called a biopsy, to check for cancer.

Skin Cancer

Incense burning is a religious ritual in many cultures and is popular among older adults. However, burning incense emits smoke and air pollution that is harmful to human health. Smoke contains particulate matter, gas products, volatile organic compounds and many other chemicals that are harmful to the lungs, skin and eyes.

One of the most common forms of cancer is skin cancer, which occurs on areas of your body that get a lot of sun exposure, such as your face, lips, ears, neck and hands. Basal and squamous cell cancers are the most common types of skin cancer, although melanoma is also possible.

If skin cancer isn’t caught early, it can spread to other parts of your body. This is called metastasis. If you’re at risk for skin cancer, see your doctor at least once a year for a professional skin check.