Cancer is one of the most leading causes of death worldwide. It is one of the primary global diseases
that cause morbidity and mortality in millions of people. It is usually caused by different carcinogenic agents
that damage the genetic material and alter the cell signaling pathways. Carcinogens are classified into two
groups as genotoxic and non-genotoxic agents. Genotoxic carcinogens are capable of directly altering the genetic
material, while the non-genotoxic carcinogens are capable of producing cancer by some secondary mechanisms
not related to direct gene damage. There is undoubtedly the greatest need to utilize some novel natural
products as anticancer agents, as these are within reach everywhere. Interventions by some natural products
aimed at decreasing the levels and conditions of these risk factors can reduce the frequency of cancer incidences.
Cancer is conventionally treated by surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy, but such treatments may be
fast-acting and causes adverse effects on normal tissues. Alternative and innovative methods of cancer treatment
with the least side effects and improved efficiency are being encouraged. In this review, we discuss the different
risk factors of cancer development, conventional and innovative strategies of its management and provide a brief
review of the most recognized natural products used as anticancer agents globally.
Keywords: Carcinogens, DNA damage, risk factors, anticancer agents, natural products, genotoxic.
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