Activation might underlie the mechanism by which arsenic acts as a co-carcinogen
Although its carcinogenic mechanism is still unknown, arsenic does not directly cause DNA damage or mutations and is therefore thought to act principally as a co-mutagen, co-carcinogen
, and/or tumor promoter.
Estrogen is known to act as a co-carcinogen
in human breast cancer and stimulate the proliferation of breast cancer cells.
Some studies indeed have suggested that [beta]-carotene may act as a co-carcinogen
Fiber may, help prevent certain cancers by reducing transit time in the bowel and therefore decreasing the time the bowel is exposed to potential carcinogens; holding onto water in the intestinal tract, increasing stool bulk which may dilute carcinogen concentrations in the colon; binding with bile acids in the intestinal tract, some of which could convert to co-carcinogens
that are synergistic with carcinogens;
Secondary bile acids do not themselves cause cancer, but they act as co-carcinogens
, increasing the chance of cancer when coupled with true carcinogens.
Many environmental metals are co-carcinogens
, eliciting their effects via inhibition of DNA repair.