Top Cancer Risk Factors: Awareness and Solutions

Dr. Amir Cancer is a type of disease wherein abnormal cells invade healthy tissues and spread through the body through lymph systems and the blood. There are over a hundred types of cancers, most of which are named after the organ or cell type from which they start. In general, only 5 to 10 percent of cancers are passed on genetically. In most cases, controllable external risk factors are what cause cancer. The following are the top cancer risk factors that should be avoided:

1. Tobacco Smoking

Smoking is the main cause of lung cancer as well as cancers related to the mouth, lips, esophagus, nasal cavity and throat. Approximately 30% of cancer deaths and 80% of lung cancer fatalities are attributed to smoking. This statistic should be enough to make smokers think twice about lighting another cigarette. Smoking is a habit that is easily avoided, and it is one of the most controllable cancer risk factors. For nicotine addicts, quitting may entail the use of nicotine patches and medication.

2. Excessive Alcohol Intake

Excessive alcohol drinking is another main cancer risk factor. This substance heightens the risk of cancers involving the liver, breast, esophagus and oral cavity. Heavy drinkers are more susceptible to the disease compared to light or non-drinkers. Long term drinking also increases the chances getting the disease. Acetaldehyde, the main metabolite of alcoholic beverages, affects DNA and results to cell proliferation. Alcohol also serves as a solvent for carcinogens coming from sources such as smoking.

Alcohol intake is also something that is highly controllable bearing in mind its harmful effects to the body. A healthy and regulated dose of alcohol is even beneficial for the health. Excessive intake should, however, be stopped. People with alcohol dependency will have a bigger challenge in terms of quitting. Medication, social support and rehabilitation may be required in some cases.

3. Unhealthy Diet

Cancer prevention is possible through a healthy diet including fresh fruits and vegetables. The body needs antioxidants like Vitamin C and phytochemicals to help battle carcinogens. Approximately 5% of known cancers are caused by a diet that does not include at least five portions of fruits and vegetables per day. Processed meat, on the other hand, adds to the risk of acquiring bowel cancer. Nitrosamines are plentiful in processed meat and have been linked to a variety of cancers.

4. Obesity and Lack of Exercise

Obesity also increases the cancer risk significantly. Excessive body weight may cause cancer to the kidney, colon, breast, and pancreas. Generally, the immune system and hormone levels are adversely affected by the abundant presence of extra fat in the body. Approximately 30% of cancer deaths are related to body weight and lack of physical activity.

Cancer is a terrible disease that has caused pain, suffering and death to millions. Knowing what causes it is winning half the battle, but the challenge is in avoiding luxuries and unhealthy habits. A healthy lifestyle consists of a balance between a good diet, sufficient exercise, and avoidance of unhealthy substances such as alcohol and tobacco.