The Risk Factors of Cancer

Cancer is characterized by the abnormal growth of cells that divide uncontrollably, destroying normal tissues. The survival rate is increasing day by day as there have been improvements in the diagnosis and treatment modalities. Risk factors may describe the chance of the development of cancer.

To keep you updated here are some risk factors that may affect the risk of development of cancer in people.

Common risk factors for cancer as follows:

  • Family history of cancer
  • Sunlight
  • Tobacco
  • Exposed to ionizing radiation
  • Exposed to toxic chemicals other substances
  • Growing older
  • Addicted to alcohol
  • Some virus and bacteria
  • Overweight
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Certain hormones

The detail information about the cancer risk factors are as follows:

  • Older age: It is the most important factor as cancer mostly occurs in people of age 65 years of age. However, cancer may develop at all ages including childhood.
  • Use of tobacco: People who take tobacco have an increased cancer risk.
  • Exposure to sunlight: The radiation coming from sunlight i.e. ultraviolet light may result in skin damage and early aging of the skin. It also increases the chance of skin cancer.
  • Certain habits: People who are addicted to alcohol may have an increased risk of cancer of mouth, throat, larynx, esophagus, liver and breast cancer. Smoking also increases the risk of many cancers including lung cancer. Family history: It is possible that the mutation may pass from one generation to another. Inherited mutation with only a small portion of cancer might increase the chance to cause cancer.
  • Environmental condition: Exposure to the harmful chemicals such as benzene, asbestos may increase cancer risk.
  • Hormones: Although hormones play an essential role in both men and women but estrogen (a group of female sex hormone) may carry an associated risk. Women who take combined or alone menopausal therapy such as estrogen and progestin together may increase breast cancer risk.
  • Improper diet: Studies have shown that certain dietary components or nutrients which may lower or higher the chance of cancer. People who have a poor diet, are physically inactive or overweight may have increased risk in cancer. For instance, people who take high-fat diet may have a high risk of colon, uterus and prostate cancer.
  • Exposed to radiation: Ionizing radiation (radiation of x-rays, gamma rays, and radon) might damage the DNA and result in  However, radiation coming through the cell phone and electromagnetic field doesn’t cause cancer.

Preventive measures that may lower cancer risk are as follows:

  • Limit exposure to sunlight. Before going out, apply sunscreen lotion; wear protective clothing like long sleeves.
  • Regular exercise such as walking, running at least 30 minutes days of a week may help.
  • Eating a healthy diet rich in vitamin C, A and E such as whole grain, protein, vegetables, and fruits decreases cancer risk.
  • Limit the intake of alcohol and avoid smoking.

Creating awareness among people about the early sign of the condition and knowing ways to avoid cancer will be helpful. For early detection of any type of cancer, the specialist may suggest cancer screening tests.