Long term exposure to arsenic, either through groundwater, food stuff or occupational sources, results in a plethora of dermatological and non-dermatological health effects including multi-organ cancer and early mortality. Several epidemiological studies, across the globe have reported arsenic-induced health effects and cancerous outcomes; but the prevalence of such diseases varies depending on environmental factors (geographical location, exposure level), and genetic makeup (and variants thereof); which is further modulated by several other factors like ethnicity, age-sex, smoking status, diet, etc. It is also interesting to note that, chronic arsenic exposure to a similar extent, even among the same family members, result in wide inter-individual variations. To understand the adverse effect of this toxic metabolite on biological system (cellular targets), and to unravel the underlying molecular basis (at the level of transcript, proteome, or metabolite), a holistic, systems biology approach was taken. Due to the paradoxical nature and unavailability of any suitable animal model system; the literature review is primarily based on cell line and population based studies. Thus, here we present a comprehensive review on the systems biology approaches to explore the underlying mechanism of arsenic-induced carcinogenicity, along with our own observations and an overview of mitigation strategies and their effectiveness till date. © 2013 Elsevier GmbH.