In 2018 alone, 1.7 million people in the United States were diagnosed with cancer. Over 600,000 people died of cancer in the same year.
While there are many things that cause cancer, some of it is avoidable, and some of it isn’t. In this blog post, we’ll go over some of the more common things that cause cancer, and what you can do to avoid increasing your risk of developing it.
Read on for more information.
In this day and age, you’re likely already aware that smoking is a leading cause of lung cancer. Not only that but being exposed to second-hand smoke for a prolonged period can also increase your risk.
Additionally, those that work in a location where they are exposed to smoke continually, such as in a barbecue restaurant, may also have an increased risk of lung cancer.
In order to reduce your risk, you should quit smoking if you do smoke. If you don’t smoke, don’t take it up as a habit, as it can be difficult to rid yourself of.
The best defense against lung cancer is to never begin to smoke in the first place.
Genetics is another common factor that can cause cancer. While scientists don’t know about the science behind every type of cancer, they do know that genetics can play a role. If someone in your family has had a certain type of cancer, particularly breast or prostate cancer, there is a higher likelihood that you could contract it as well.
There isn’t much that can be done about genetics at the moment, but you can take precautions to understand your risk. With some cancers, you can get tested for the gene to see if you’re more at risk than other people who don’t have the gene.
Maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking and cutting down on drinking can also help reduce your risk of cancer.
Lastly, if you do have a family history of a certain type of cancer, it is important that you’re vigilant about symptoms. If you notice a lump or bump that isn’t right, or you find you don’t feel well and can’t explain why, make an appointment with the doctor.
Don’t leave it too long, or cancer could spread further than you’re able to contain it.
While you can’t escape your genetics, you do have a better chance of beating cancer if you detect it, and eradicate it, early. In some cases, if you catch cancer early enough, a simple surgery and monitoring for a year or two are all you need to keep you healthy and cancer-free.
3. Some Household Substances or Substances at Work
You may have heard of the talcum powder lawsuits or the roundup cancer lawsuits. While these investigations are ongoing, courts have proven that these items have caused devastating cancer for a significant portion of people.
Although it may not make you the most popular, you should be wary of being exposed to any kind of substance for a long period of time in your workplace. Make sure your place of employment has safety measures in place if being exposed to a substance is part of your work.
Additionally, don’t place talcum powder, or anything but water, directly onto your vagina. While talcum powder may cause cancer due to the allegation that it could contain asbestos, generally having anything that could change the pH balance of your vagina isn’t ideal. Although changing the pH balance of your vagina won’t cause cancer, it can cause other infections.
While drinking a little bit at a time isn’t necessarily bad for you, if you over consume alcohol, this can lead to cancer and other health issues. Most notably, one of the problems people who drink excessively is cirrhosis of the liver, but it also ups the risk of cancer in general.
Drinking socially is okay, but try to limit your drinks to a few a week. Your doctor may be able to discuss with you about the amount of alcohol that is problematic for your age, weight, gender, and size. Ideally, you shouldn’t have more than one to two drinks a day depending on a variety of factors.
If you have a drinking problem, speak to your doctor about ways to help you overcome your dependence. It could literally save your life one day.
5. Not Taking Preventative Measures
Not being proactive in prevention measures can up your risk of cancer. This includes not getting proper vaccines, particularly the HPV vaccine for young women.
Your doctor will also speak to you about routine cancer screenings at your annual physical exam. This will change throughout your life depending on your age, weight, genetics and health status. It is important you stay on top of your cancer screenings so that if you do develop cancer, you’ll be able to catch it early.
Don’t take the attitude of “it won’t happen to me.” It does happen to people like you, and it happens regularly.
This List of Things That Cause Cancer Is Not Exhaustive
This list of things that cause cancer only scratches the surface. There are many more things that can, and do, cause cancer, so it is important that you schedule an appointment with your doctor any time you don’t feel right.
It is also important that you eat a healthy diet, drink in moderation and get 30 minutes of exercise as many days as possible.
For more on staying healthy, visit our site’s health section.