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5 Common Causes of Cancer That Everyone Should Know

Cancer is one of the most dreaded diseases and can be caused by a variety of factors. Knowing what causes cancer – including lifestyle, genetic and environmental factors – is important for taking preventive measures. In this article, we will discuss the five most common causes of cancer and how you can maintain your health to reduce or prevent its occurrence.

Environmental toxins, such as air pollution and radiation

Air pollution and environmental toxins such as radiation, asbestos, petrol products and lead can all increase your risk of cancer. Air pollutants, such as those found in urban areas or near industrial sites, have been linked to an increased risk of developing lung cancer. Exposure to ionizing radiation from X-rays and other sources over time has also been associated with an increased risk of cancer. To protect yourself, it’s important to limit your exposure to air pollutants, avoid smoking and excessive alcohol use, eat a balanced diet high in fruits and vegetables and engage in regular physical activity.

Unhealthy Diet and Lack of Exercise

Studies have shown that unhealthy eating habits and lack of physical activity contribute to about one-third of all cancers. Eating processed foods, foods high in saturated fat and sugar, and fried or charred foods can increase your risk for certain types of cancer. Maintaining a healthy diet with plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats can reduce your risk for cancer. Regular exercise – at least 30 minutes every day – is also important for helping keep cancer away.

Genetics and family history

While many cancers are linked to external factors, some forms of cancer can also be inherited and passed from parent to child. Certain genes may be predisposed to become mutated and cause cancer. If your close relatives have had certain types of cancer, you may have an increased risk for developing it as well. It is important that you familiarize yourself with your family history and discuss your risk for certain cancers with your doctor.

Excessive alcohol consumption

Excessive alcohol consumption is linked to the development of several types of cancer, including liver, colorectal, and breast cancer. Alcohol consumption can damage cells and increase your risk for cancer by impairing the body’s DNA repair mechanisms. It is important to stay within the recommended daily limits as defined by your doctor or health care provider if you choose to consume alcohol.

Tobacco Use

Tobacco use is still one of the leading preventable causes of cancer, and it’s estimated that about 15% of all cancers are due to smoking cigarettes and using other tobacco products. Cigarette smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, including at least 70 known to cause cancer. Not only does smoking increase your risk for lung cancer, but it can also increase your risk for a number of other types of cancer, including bladder, pancreatic, and throat cancer.

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