Cancer risk factors are the instances or situations that increase the chance of an individual acquiring cancer. Relative cancer risk factors that are commonly known include:
There are some cancers that are genetically acquired. It’s possible that mutated genes causing cancer are being passed within your bloodline from one generation to another. If cancer is commonly occurring in your family, you may submit yourself for genetic testing to determine if you are a carrier of an oncogenic gene. However, being a carrier of such a gene doesn’t necessarily make you acquire cancer. You are simply at risk of getting it
Cancers are insidious by nature. They are mostly diagnosed later in life. They may take years to develop or once a stimulus triggers their manifestation. While it is common in adults, cancer is not exclusively found in this age group; cancer is diagnosed at any time in one’s lifetime.
Most often, we hear people advocate for healthy lifestyles. One reason is that poor lifestyle choices can also trigger cancers. Alcohol predisposes an individual to liver cancers. Smoking and tobacco use heighten the risk of lung cancer. Exercise, on the other hand, is found to lower the risk of development and recurrence of breast cancers.
There are certain chronic conditions that are not cancerous but may predispose an individual to it. Chronic conditions, such as obesity and chronic ulcerative colitis, may lead to cancer. Infections with a certain type of bacteria or virus can also trigger cancer formation. The human papillomavirus (HPV) is a known causative agent of cervical cancers.
Every day, we are confronted with harsh elements in the environment. Radiation, including the ultraviolet radiation from the sun, and certain chemicals around you are oncogenic. They can cause cancer by inducing genetic mutations. Since cancers are monstrous, cancerous cells overpopulated the healthy ones, causing the manifestation of the disease.
Understanding risk factors is important in avoiding the development of cancer. One can simply avoid these risk factors by bringing their risky behaviors to an end, especially those risk factors that are controllable. For those that are not, such as age and family history, a screening test may be done so appropriate decisions are made to lower cancer risk.