Age has been identified as the greatest risk factor for cancer
Ageing – Cancer Risk Factors
Statistically, it is said that 60% of people who develop cancer are 65 or older. So are 60% of cancer survivors.
Although scientists have known for years that age is a leading risk factor for the development of many types of cancer, it is still unclear why aging increases the risk of cancer.
Researchers suspect that DNA methylation, or the binding of chemical tags, called methyl groups, onto DNA, may be involved.
Cancer in a close relative, like a parent or a sibling, is more cause for concern than in a more distant relative
Family History – Cancer Risk Factors
Many people worry that a family history of cancer means that they too, are at higher risk of getting it. This isn’t always the case, however, medical check-ups are advised.
In order for a General Practitioner (GP) to assess the risks of one getting cancer, a number of questions will be asked about the cancer family history of cancer. Depending on one’s answers, the GP will then be able to determine one’s risk of getting the cancer as: average risk, moderate risk or high risk.
Certain things also make it more likely that cancers in a family are caused by a family cancer syndrome. These include: many cases of an uncommon type of cancer such as Kidney Cancer, cancers occurring at a younger age than usual, more than one type of cancer in a single person and more than one childhood cancer in a set of siblings.
There have been several research reports providing evidence that pollution increases the chance of one getting cancer
Pollution – Cancer Risk Factors
Air pollution, in particular, is also often associated with causing Lung Cancer; however, smoking still remains the leading cause of the cancer.
The main causes of air pollution include: transport, some pollutants, farming fossil fuel power stations as well as some fuels people use to cook and heat their homes.
However, as with most cancer risk factors, the risk is higher the more someone is exposed to the substance.
For instance, as aforementioned, although air pollution increases the risk of developing Lung Cancer by a small amount, other things have a much bigger effect on the risk, particularly smoking.
Other illnesses also often contribute the occurrence of cancer
Other Illnesses – Cancer Risk Factors
The causes of cancer are large and wide, and often hard to pin point the cause to one particular thing. Other illnesses also often contribute the occurrence of cancer.
The risk of having Hodgkin’s disease is, for example, high in people affected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
It is imperative that as one receives treatment, they consult their doctor and have all tests done in case they suspect they may have cancer.
Of the total cancer-related deaths that occur each year, a small percentage of that is often related to the deceased’s occupations
Occupation (eg. mining) – Cancer Risk Factors
About half of these deaths are also often linked to male construction workers who are most likely to come into contact with asbestos, as well as other carcinogens such as silica and diesel engine exhaust.
Asbestos remains the most significant occupational risk factor. Albeit it is no longer used in construction, maintenance on old buildings can still be a risk factor for workers today. Asbestos-related cancers will continue to rise as they can take a long time to develop.
It is important to note, that although smokers are at a great risk of developing various kind of cancers, so are second-hand smokers
Second-hand Smoke – Cancer Risk Factors
Non-smokers who breathe in other people’s tobacco smoke are at risk too.
Children or teenagers who have been exposed to second-hand smoke may be particularly at risk of developing Lung Cancer later in life.
They also have an increased risk of developing Asthma and other respiratory problems.
Sleep deprivation hardly ever sounds like a big deal to many; however, some of its effects are serious and are worth being astutely aware of
Chronic Lack of Sleep – Cancer Risk Factors
People with Circadian Rhythm Disorders, a case in which the body’s biological clock is disrupted because of shift work, for example, are at risk of developing Breast Cancer and Prostate Cancer due to their irregular work shifts.
A chronic lack of sleep can also put one at a risk of developing: heart disease, heart attack, heart failure, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes.
Evidence from experimental studies does suggest that psychological stress can affect a tumor’s ability to grow and spread
Chronic Stress or Sadness – Cancer Risk Factors
Without a doubt, stress remains a great part of our lives and although research hasn’t definitely shown that stress directly causes cancer, there have been studies showing that chronic stress or sadness are great contributors to the development of cancer.
Part of the reason stress is linked to cancer, is simply because when people are under pressure, they make poor choices — they begin smoking, stop exercising, start eating unhealthy foods — which are all factors that are linked to cancer.
Some studies have even gone as far as to show that women who’ve experienced traumatic life events or losses in previous years have significantly higher rates of developing breast cancer.
Eating junk food has predominantly been found to raise women’s risks of developing a range of cancers
Consumption of Junk Food – Cancer Risk Factors
A major European study established that women with raised levels of sugar face significant risks of suffering from: Pancreatic Cancer, Skin Cancer, Womb Cancer and Urinary Tract Cancer.
Eating lots of chips, cakes, desserts and sugary drinks have also been associated with Colorectal Cancer. Although the major risk factors of the illness include smoking and having a family history, a great consumption of sugar-filled snack foods, have been associated with Colorectal Cancer.
There has also been further scientific consensus of an association between the drinking of alcohol and several types of cancer
Consumption of Alcohol – Cancer Risk Factors
Alcohol consumption has been identified as an independent risk factor for Liver Cancer, also known as Hepatocellular Carcinoma. There has also been further scientific consensus of an association between the drinking of alcohol and several types of cancer. The research provides evidence to the indication that the more alcohol a person drinks, especially regularly over time, the higher their risk of developing an alcohol-associated cancer.
Some alcoholic beverages have been identified to contain a variety of carcinogenic contaminants that are introduced during fermentation and production, these include: phenols, hydrocarbons, nitrosamines and asbestos fibers.
This has, among other ways, been established to be one of the ways in which alcohol increases the risk of cancer.
The ultraviolet light in sunlight damages the DNA in the skin cells
Excessive Sun Exposure – Cancer Risk Factors
Most skin cancers are caused by exposure to the sun. This could be as a result of long term exposure, or short periods of intense sun exposure and burning. The ultraviolet light in sunlight damages the DNA in the skin cells. This damage can happen years before a cancer develops.
People who are excessively exposed to the sun are at risk of developing various types of skin cancer like: Melanoma, Basal Cell Carcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC).
To avoid excessive sun exposure, simple proactive steps such as the wearing of protective clothing and applying sunscreen are recommended.