Cancer is one of the most lethal medical conditions, even though different traditional and alternative treatments are available. Following logic, the best way for prevention is to know and recognize the causes of cancer. For this reason, it is perfectly natural for you to ask what causes this condition.
Despite the extensive research and the constant advancement of science, the causes of most types of cancer remain unknown. This group includes some of the most common types of cancer, such as breast cancer, prostate cancer and colorectal cancer. However, thanks to research and medical observation, the main risk factors for many different types of cancer have been identified.
It is important to differentiate between causes of cancer and risk factors. If you have the risk factors, you are more likely to develop the condition. However, this does not mean that you will get it. In fact, for some types, such as oral cancer, approximately 25% of all patients have not been at higher risk before being diagnosed with the condition.
Simply put, no one is perfectly safe from getting such a disease. Despite this, provided that you know the risk factors, you can work to eliminate them and reduce your risk of developing cancer. It should be pointed out that some factors can be eliminated, while others cannot.
Smoking and cigarette smoking to be exact, is identified as the single most significant factor leading to lung cancer. Statistics show that it is responsible for over 85% of all cases. A large number of the remaining 15% of the cases are due to passive smoking and cigar and tobacco smoking. In fact, over 1,000 passive smokers die of lung cancer each year. Smoking can also increase the risk of other types of cancer, such as kidney, pancreatic, stomach and cervical cancer. For this reason, not smoking is one of the most effective ways for prevention.
Above normal weight and obesity are other serious risk factors. They increase the risk of breast, colon, kidney, endometrial and prostate cancer. The level of risk is not the same for all conditions. Even though obesity cannot be linked directly to other types of cancer other than endometrial cancer, it can reduce your health risk significantly in general. For this reason losing weight through a low-calorie diet and exercise is particularly important.
In fact, the diet can also be considered to lead to increased risk of cancer, even though it is certainly not considered to be one of the causes of cancer. According to researchers the diet full of animal fats increases the risk of prostate cancer. Similarly, a diet low in fiber may put you at higher risk of colorectal cancer. That is why a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables is essential.
Recent studies show that alcohol consumption can also be a risk factor for different types of cancer. It has been discovered that women who consume more than one drink every day are more likely to develop breast cancer. For this reason, avoiding drinking can be beneficial.
Exposure to the sun is the main cause of skin cancer. You can protect yourself by avoiding sun exposure and sunbathing in the afternoon. Wearing sunscreen and protective clothing is a must.
Exposure to radiation is another one of the most significant cancer risk factors. Other factors, such as exposure to asbestos are equally risky. Still, such exposures are rare in general.
Some viruses are directly or indirectly responsible for cancer development. For instance, some HPV virus infections, considered sexually transmitted diseases, can lead to cervical cancer. In addition, a person suffering from hepatitis is more likely to develop liver cancer.
Aging is not one of the causes of cancer, but the risk of most types increases with age. This can be explained by the fact that cells become more vulnerable to factors that can cause a change in their DNA structure as the body ages. In turn, they are more likely to become abnormal and to grow into a malignant tumor.
Genetics may be one of the causes of cancer. Many types of cancer are known to run in families. For example, a woman’s risk of breast cancer increases around two times, if she has a mother, sister or daughter who has or has had the condition. Regrettably, researchers are still working to discover the exact genes that can lead to the growth of tumors. Despite this, individuals in higher risk can have medical screenings more regularly, as a form of prevention.