Document Type : Review Article
Faculty of Plant Production, Gorgan University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Gorgan, Iran
Introduction: Cancer is abnormal and uncontrolled cell proliferation. Carcinogens cause DNA damage and loss of function of tumor suppressor genes, resulting in tumor formation and metastasis. Some carcinogens are physical factors such as ultraviolet radiation, chemical factors such as cancer-inducing chemical compounds, cigarette smoke, unbalanced diet, occupational, hereditary, hormonal, metabolic, and biological factors, especially some bacteria and viruses.
Materials: Nowadays, an essential cancer treatment is chemotherapy that may cause drug resistance and various side effects. Some plants have long been considered reliable and excellent sources for developing anticancer drugs. Some plants play a protective and therapeutic role in cancer, while others reduce the side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy and are also economically viable. Some natural marine compounds and minerals are also known to inhibit tumors.
Results: The present paper reviews the most critical natural anticancer substances globally and introduces the most essential mechanisms of their effect. Traditional medicine of most countries includes various natural compounds used to treat different types of cancers. Some of the most essential traditional natural anticancer substances known worldwide include Catharanthus roseus, Podophylum peltatum, Combretum caffrum; Campetotheca acuminate; Brucea antidysenterica.
Conclusion: The mechanism of anticancer effect of most of these substances is related to their antioxidant properties and inhibition of the growth of their tumor cells. Many of these materials are traditionally used in different parts of the world.
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