Cancer is a major killer in the world’s population. In the U.S alone, an average of 1,600 people die from cancer everyday. Just what is cancer caused by, and what can be done to minimize this risk? Cancer is not just one disease. It is a group of diseases that stems from abnormal cell growth that is uncontrollable. Cells that are damaged divide without control and form tumors that can spread quickly over the afflicted region. They destroy the healthy cells around them.
When cancer is found in the blood, the cancer cells spread and interfere with the function of the normal blood cells. When the body tissues do not receive enough supply of healthy blood, they die off. Internal organs fail and result in death of the individual. There are more than one hundred different kinds of cancer. Each type is classified by the type of cell that is afflicted. Different types of cancer can be caused by different things.
Some cancers are genetic. A person can be born with cells that have genetic mutation. This does not necessarily mean that the individual will develop cancer. However, statistically speaking, the existence of the mutation makes the person predisposed to developing the cancer. Cancer of the breasts and ovaries is one example. Colorectal cancer is another type that can run in the family. Genetic testing can be done to find out if a family member is predisposed to these types of cancers.
Prolonged overexposure to the sun’s UV radiation can bring about skin cancer. Among cancers, this is the most common one. Skin cancer can be melanomas or non-melanomas. Both can be treated effectively if found and treated early enough. You can minimize your risk of developing skin cancer by applying a broad-spectrum sun block before you go out everyday.
Smoking can lead to cancer of the lungs and other internal organs. Lung cancer is hard to treat once it is diagnosed. Tobacco smoke contains more than seven thousand chemicals, many of which are carcinogens. Examples of these are cyanide, formaldehyde, benzene and methanol, all known poisons.
A person’s lifestyle can contribute to causing cancer. Obesity leads to a whole gamut of health problems. In the U.S., one in three cancer deaths is connected to obesity, lack of physical activity, and poor nutrition. Although it may not be the direct cause, an unhealthy lifestyle does raise the risk of cancer development and can increase the rate of the cancer spreading.
Exposure to environmental carcinogens causes many types of cancer. These carcinogens can be found in the workplace and in the home. Chemicals in cleaning agents and hair dyes, paints, and asbestos are just a few of the common carcinogens that can be found in the home and at the workplace. Air can be polluted by second-hand smoke and car exhaust. Regular exposure to these can raise the risk of cancer development.
Some cancers are unpreventable, especially the ones that are genetic. However, when you have a better idea of what is cancer caused by, you can minimize your risk by avoiding exposure to carcinogens and leading a healthier lifestyle.