It’s nearly impossible to identify common causes of cancer as we know so little about this disease. There are factors that are considered main contributors, like diet, exposure to certain chemicals, genes, etc. However, the scientists are still unable to find that one exact factor that directly causes cancer cells to occur.
It’s quite terrifying as this disease is a major concern for the nation. About 600,920 people die of it yearly in the US. Over 1.6 million new cases are diagnosed, with the majority of them leading to eventual death. And yet, medical professionals are still unsure of what exactly causes tumors to mutate and turn cancerous. However, you must pay attention to the existing research so that you are at least aware of the most common risk factors.
Common Causes of Cancer and Studies That Prove This
Smoking is the main cause of cancer-related deaths in the world. The risk of not only developing but dying of lung cancer is 22.1% for male smokers and 11.9% for female. Tobacco smoking is directly responsible for 80% of all lung cancer cases. Vaping using electronic cigarettes is considered safer as they don’t contain toxic oils, like regular cigarettes. However, the solutions used for vaping cause a risk of formaldehyde poisoning. Therefore, the overall level of cancer risk for these cigs isn’t that different. Note that tobacco smoking might also cause larynx, esophagus, pancreas, stomach, brain, kidney, and some other types of cancer. On average, about 1 in 3 cancer deaths in the developed countries is somehow related to smoking.
Diseases caused by dangerous viruses are the second of the most common causes of cancer. The worst ‘offenders’ in this are hepatitis C virus, Helicobacter pylori, and human papillomavirus. This problem is less prevalent in developed countries (8% of all cancers) as compared to developing societies (26%). It’s important to understand that the infection itself doesn’t cause cancer cells to develop. However, it increases the risk of their growth and mutation in the areas affected by disease (liver for hepatitis, stomach for H. pylori, etc.)
- Diet, Obesity, and Exercise
If you are looking for ways to keep your motivation to lose weight, read this report on cancer causes and risk factors. It states that about 30% of all cancers in the world are caused by diet and nutrition. The most common causes of cancer among those are obesity and nutritional deficiencies. Low fruit and vegetable intake is the main characteristic of cancer-causing meal plans. Therefore, eating these foods more often is an important prevention factor. Note that veggies are considered more effective in cancer prevention, especially broccoli and leafy greens.
Eating a well-balanced diet is one of the best things you can do in terms of cancer prevention. You should also consider taking supplements for the elements you can’t get from meals. For example, Omega 3 EPA/DHA, Calcium 650mg, and Vitamin A & D help avoid most common nutritional deficiencies. You’ll have to consult your doctor to choose which you need.
As lack of physical activity is a major contributing factor for obesity, it also affects cancer risks. Regular workouts necessary to keep your weight in check help prevent cancer as much as eating foods rich in antioxidants.
- Exposure to Chemicals
Exposures to toxic chemicals of different kinds are one of the most common causes of cancer. In a way, taking medications associated with an increased cancer risk (steroids, hormonal contraceptives, etc.) can also be considered a form of exposure. Don’t forget about exposure to UV radiation, which causes 160,000 cases of skin cancer (melanoma) every year. Water and soil pollution are responsible for about 1-4% of all cancers in the world. The number of workers exposed to carcinogenic chemicals on a daily basis is incalculable as many employers don’t keep track or hide this information.
‘Genetic predisposition’ to cancer is caused by a very rare mutation carried by about 0.3% of the world’s population. However, it’s responsible for 3-10% of all world cancer cases. Leading a healthy lifestyle goes a long way for reducing the cancer risks for those affected by this genetic mutation.