What causes cancer? There is no easy answer to this question. People leading a healthy lifestyle may get cancer while others with an unhealthy diet, smoking habit and other possible causes of cancer constantly present in their lives, may live long and happily.
Cancer cause is sometimes thought to mean a ‘direct cause of cancer’. It is true to some extent for specific cancer causes, but for many others, they only slightly increase the danger.
Does it mean that we should not care whether our habits and environment become a potential cause of cancer? Nothing more wrong. Having in mind that these are possible and the main causes of cancer, we should at least try to make our lives healthier and to get bigger prospects of decades of happiness with our family and friends.
In this article we have prepared cancer causes list including 5 common cancer causes for you to help to get awareness; you may do something to eliminate some of them.
1. Cigarettes Are One of The Most Accepted Cancer Causes
Cigarettes and other tobacco products are often held accountable as an important cause of cancer. But is that so? Unfortunately, yes, according to a study by researchers from the American Cancer Society, almost half the deaths (48.5%) from 12 different types of cancer causes by cigarette smoking. Cancer types known to be caused by smoking include cancer of the liver, colon, and rectum, lung, oral cavity and throat, esophagus, larynx (voice box), stomach, pancreas, bladder, kidney, and cervix, and acute myeloid leukemia.
Tobacco was not known as a cancer cause for many years due to the lobbying of corporations but nowadays now and then a new study appears, showing it as a direct cause of cancer. For this reason, stop smoking or never start if you have such a chance.
2. Genetics Play a Big Role for The Cancers
The development of science brought another saddening news – genetics is the cause of cancer. Moreover, some scientists claim that genetics is the primary, direct cause of cancer in many types of diseases, such as prostate cancer in men or breast cancer in women. Women with breast cancer history running in the family are advised to visit their doctors regularly in order to spot the disease in its early stages. You need to carefully follow the cancer signs and symptoms because early-found breast cancer will be smaller and has not spread; it is easier to treat successfully.
Neglecting the genetic cause of cancer may be a major mistake costing health or even life. If you have a history of cancer in your family, you should be aware that your genetic code may be a possible cause of cancer in the future.
3. Radiation May Cause Cancer
Various types of radiation were proven to be cancer causes. To the most obvious types of cancer-inducing radiation belongs to radiation from radioactive materials – it was a direct cause of cancer for many people affected by Chernobyl and atomic bombings during the II World War. However, this is not the only type of radiation counted among the possible causes of cancer. High-energy radiation, such as x-rays, gamma rays, alpha particles, beta particles, and neutrons, can damage DNA and lead to cancer. People considering CT (Computed Tomography) scans should talk with their doctors about the necessity, risks, and benefits of the procedure.
Finally, radiation from the sun or so-called UV radiation is the direct cause of cancer of the skin. According to scientists, we shall abstain from long sunbathing in the middle of the day and apply sunscreen in order to get a healthy tan, not skin cancer.
4. Infections are One of The Cancer Causes
Some infections are also known as cancer causes. Especially one virus, HPV, is known to be the direct cause of cancers of cervix, vagina, tongue, vulva, anus, penis, and throat. Additionally, HPV may be a leading cause of mouth cancer, though this link needs to be studied more extensively. Mouth cancers can be confused with canker sores. A cancerous lesion may appear as a canker sore, and some symptoms of oral cancer are similar to those of canker sores, like painful ulcers and swelling in your neck, but they won’t heal without treatment like canker sores.
Most high-risk HPV infections arise without any symptoms, clear off within 1 to 2 years, and do not cause cancer. Insistent infections with high-risk HPV types, however, may create cell changes that may progress to cancer if untreated.
Yet another virus, the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), while not a direct cause of cancer, may be among lymphoma and nasopharyngeal cancer causes. Rarely, infection with EBV can be connected to cancer, including Hodgkin lymphoma, nasopharyngeal cancer (a type of head and neck cancer) and Burkitt's lymphoma.
Finally, HBV and HCV liver viruses may lead to chronic liver disease and dysfunctions which in turn are often counted as possible causes of cancer of the liver.
5. Obesity and the Lack of Physical Activity May Lead to Cancer
Research has shown that some types of cancer are more common in people who are overweight or obese. Nowadays we know that obesity is among key cancer causes in diseases such as bowel cancer, womb cancer, breast cancer, and many others. Obese people often have chronic low-level inflammation, which can lead to DNA damage that causes cancer over time.
While it isn’t called a direct cause of cancer, obesity significantly increases the risk of carcinogenic tissue’s appearance in your body. For this reason, fighting obesity can be held equal to fighting the possible causes of cancer. Stay fit!
Bonus: Unhealthy Diet
An unhealthy diet can also be a cause of cancer. People who tend to eat a lot of meat and not enough fiber may have bowel cancer and other cancers of the digestive system. There is also strong evidence that eating a fiber-rich diet that is high in whole grains can fight against weight gain, being overweight and obese, which are associated with an increased risk of 12 cancers.
Similarly, using cooking oil multiple times without changing it leads to the creation of trans fats – digesting them is the cause of cancer of the colon and other types of cancer.
If you have a possibility, change your unhealthy diet soon. You will not only get more energetic but also cross out yet another one of the possible causes of cancer.
This content is edited by Flymedi Medical Editors in March 2019.