Cancer…Just one word, but it leaves disasters in its wake. Even today, cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, and thus, it becomes essential to know why it is so and to be aware of the origin of this disease. In a normal situation, cells in a body go through apoptosis or cell death in case of DNA damage.
However, when they fail to do so, these damaged cells start dividing and spreading throughout the whole body, they transform into highly cancerous cells resulting in cancer. While on its own, there are more than 200 types of cancer, cancers are classified based on its origin. For instance, if the uncontrolled growth of cancerous cells originated from the tissues in the breast, the particular cancer is named as breast cancer. Similarly, lung cancer originates from lungs, leukemia, or blood cancer originates from blood and the like.
One in every six people die from cancer as per the World Health Organization (WHO), and lung and breast cancers are the most common reasons behind it. While these two cancers are quite common, colon, stomach, and liver cancers are not far behind as well. No wonder, knowing about the risk factors of cancer should be a top-most priority. Here are the nine risk factors that can increase the chances of cancer:
Aging is undoubtedly one of the risk factors of cancer as most of the cancer diagnoses are in the age group of 65 to 74.
Heavy drinkers are more susceptible to cancer. So, the next time you go overboard drinking, keep this in mind. Most doctors suggest only moderate alcohol drinking and not more than that.
Exposure To Carcinogens:
The National Toxicology Program’s 14th report on Carcinogens lists the substances classified under carcinogens, including arsenic, second-hand tobacco smoke, soot, coal tar, and many more.
Although there are no definitive research studies that can prove that certain dietary substances can cause cancer, epidemiological studies point towards the fact that some eating habits might be a factor in causing cancer.
Women are exposed to female sex hormones like estrogen and progesterone through menstruation, which is also linked with increased cancer incidence as per research studies.
Like in other diseases, obesity is a risk factor of cancer as well. Overweight people are prone to having cancers related to breast, colon, rectum, endometrium, and kidney.
Certain kinds of radiation with specific wavelengths, also known as ionizing radiation, are risk factors that we should take care of. Radon, X-rays, and gamma rays are some forms of radiation that can increase the risk of cancer.
While sunlight in itself is not a cause of cancer, the ultraviolet (UV) radiation that it emits results in early aging of the skin or even damage-causing skin cancer.
Just like in many cardiovascular diseases, if a specific type of cancer has been present in your family generations, there is a chance you might have it too.
While keeping in mind all the above factors, also remember that these risk factors may or may not be a direct cause of cancer-related mortality.