What causes cancer

There are many different things that can cause cancer. There are hundreds in fact. Here we will discuss the main factors that can cause cancer to give you a good idea of what you can do to reduce your chances of cancer in your life.

The first thing that can cause cancer is genetic predisposition. Many women today who have a history of breast cancer for instance are having themselves tested for certain genes. Two of these genes are BRCA1 and BRCA2. If women have these genes they are much more likely to have breast cancer in their lifetime. With this knowledge they can be forewarned and take measures to prevent their risk of cancer in the future. Other genetic mutations can cause cancer. These mutations can also be passed down from one generation to the next. These mutations are being studied as we speak and we are learning more about how to use these genetic factors to help others such as the women above reduce their chances of cancer.

The second cause of cancer is age. As we age our cells, tissues and organs start to deteriorate or break down. Our cells are not young and healthy as they once were. We are more prone to being susceptible to things such as environmental factors that can also cause cancer. Our cells start to break down and when our cells divide there are more chances for genetic mistakes to be made. This makes it much easier for cancerous cells to be made or born.

The next factor that needs to be discussed is our daily environment. The first thing in our environment that needs to be talked about is our exposure to the sun. Research has shown that too much exposure to the sun has caused people to be much more likely to have skin cancers such as melanoma later on in life. Other factors in the environment that our bodies are exposed to on a daily basis are pollutants and chemicals that are in our food, water, and the air that we breathe.

Other chemicals that we are exposed to are things such as tobacco and alcohol which are known carcinogens or predispose our bodies to cancer in the future. We have control over some of these factors and some we do not. We need to try to limit our exposure to the environmental factors that we can in order to reduce our chances of cancer in the future.

Next we will discuss our diet and our health in general and how that lends itself to a factor in how we are likely to develop cancer or not. People who have a healthy diet that is high in fiber and antioxidants are much less likely to develop cancers such as colon cancer in the future. People on the other hand who are sedentary and have diets that are high in fats and other substances that are considered toxins in general are much more likely to develop cancers of the gastrointestinal tract, colon and even the liver later on in life.

The immune system plays a large part as to whether we are likely to develop cancer. People who have compromised immune systems such as those who have HIV or have had a transplant in the recent past are much more likely to develop certain types of cancer. There are certain types of cancer that develop from viral means as well and these types of cancer are more likely to develop in people who have compromised immune systems. One example of this is liver cancer that develops in people who have had Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C. Other cancers that can develop from viral means are lymphoma and cervical cancer.

Last updated on Aug 2nd, 2009 and filed under Cancer Research. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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