Cancer Causes and Risk Factors

By Kangpe Healthcare Services
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When it comes to cancer risks, it is important to get your facts straight. If you get your health advice from just anyone, it might seem that ‘everything causes cancer’.

From Deodorants to microwaves and laptops, nearly everything 'seems' to cause cancer these days.
Despite the rumours, claims, and stories about cancer only a handful of the risk factors should be a cause for alarm.

Below are some of the major risk factors of cancer.

a) Smoking
Smoking is the biggest of the four, it is believed to account for up to a third of all cancers.
It causes lung cancer, larynx cancer, esophagus cancer, mouth cancer, throat cancer, kidney cancer, liver cancer, stomach cancer, cervix cancer, bladder cancer, rectum cancer and pancreas cancer.

Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer cases, quitting smoking can significantly reduce a person’s risk of developing lung cancer.

Although it is never too late to get a benefit from quitting smoking, the benefit is more pronounced among those who quit at a younger age


b) Alcohol
Alcohol consumption accounts for about 4 percent of cancers. Not everyone who drinks alcohol will develop cancer.
However, the less alcohol you drink, the lower your risk of developing cancer.

Binge drinking alcohol has been identified as a cause of cancers of the bowel, oesophagus, pharynx and mouth.
To reduce cancer risk, avoid drinking alcohol daily and/or cut your alcohol intake.


C) Obesity
People who are obese have a higher risk of developing several types of cancer. If obesity is an issue for you, speak to your doctor about getting help to improve your diet and exercise habits.

Research indicates that people who are obese or overweight are more prone to developing cancer, including cancers of the breast), bowel, pancreatic, oesophageal, kidney, stomach, thyroid, liver, myeloma (a type of blood cancer), and meningioma.


d) Infectious Agents
Most of the infectious agents that are linked to an increased risk of cancer can be passed from one person to another through bodily fluids and/or blood.

The activities of infectious agents, including viruses, bacteria, and parasites, can cause cancer or increase the risk of developing cancer.

Certain viruses disrupt the mechanisms that prevent abnormal cell growth and proliferation. Inflammation caused by some infections weaken the immune system, making the body less able to fight off cancer-causing infections.

You can reduce your risk of infection by not having unprotected sex, getting vaccinated for infections like hepatitis and not sharing needles.

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Published Thursday, July 6th 2017

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