Top 4 Cancer Risk Factors You Can Mitigate and Treat

Cancer Risk Factors

Cancer is the second-leading cause of death in the world. The majority of cancer patients feel helpless. It can be difficult for them to find a way to cope with the array of emotions.

However, you can help them to stay positive by showing a positive attitude as well as encouraging words. It will also help cancer patients to boost their confidence in fighting against this disease.

Moreover, it has been estimated that, by 2040, the number of new cancer cases per year is expected to rise to 29.5 million. The statistics about the death rate are also worsening day by day.

But the awareness campaigns about controllable and uncontrollable risk factors have enabled people to live a healthy life. By having in-depth knowledge about preventive measures, you can lower your chance of getting many types of cancer.  What’s more, some of those same behaviours can also help lower your risk for other serious diseases.

Uncontrollable Risk Factors for Cancer

A risk factor is anything that increases a person’s chances of developing cancer. There are two types of risk factors, controllable and uncontrollable.

Controllable risk factors are those that you can change by adopting a healthy lifestyle and including good habits. On the other hand, uncontrollable risk factors are those that you cannot change.

So, cancer risks you cannot prevent or reduce are including: genetic mutations, family history, age, gender, race and ethnicity.  Sometimes, cancer is not inherited from our parents. However, there is a clear genetic susceptibility or inherited risk of cancer in some families.

For example, inherited genetic conditions such as Lynch syndrome or Li-Fraumeni syndrome, or BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations, carry a higher risk of developing certain cancers.

So, if you are well-aware of the high risk of developing cancer, due to family history. Then you can undertake genetic testing, which helps estimate your chance of developing cancer in your lifetime.

Modifiable Risk Factors

Controllable, or modifiable, risk factors are those that people can try to change by making healthier choices. Such factors may include: health behaviours and lifestyle factors e.g., tobacco, alcohol use and obesity.

According to the National Cancer Institute reports, 30 percent of all cancer deaths are caused by cigarette smoking.

In addition, the American Cancer Society estimates that one-third of cancer deaths are linked to poor diet, physical inactivity, overweight and obesity.  You can easily control these factors by adopting some life-changing hacks.

How to Reduce Controllable Risk Factors

Cancer is often unpredictable. But there are things everyone can do to reduce their cancer risk.  Let’s discuss the ways to reduce the controllable risk factors.

1. Quit Smoking and Tobacco Use

Smoking and excessive use of tobacco are the main risk factors for lung cancer. Unfortunately, it causes at least 15 different types of cancer including:  oesophagus, larynx, mouth, throat, liver acute myeloid,  leukemia, etc.

Poison in cigarette smoking directly impacts the immune system. Which makes it hard to resist cancer cells. Moreover, harmful toxins i.e. tar, nicotine, carbon monoxide and different additives can damage or change a cell’s DNA.

DNA controls a cell’s normal growth and function. In the case of excessive smoking, DNA can lose control over cells that can create a cancer tumour.

However, it is the biggest preventable cause of cancer.  It’s never too late to stop smoking. No doubt it’s very hard because when your addicted body doesn’t get nicotine, you may feel uncomfortable and crave cigarettes. But you can make efforts by quitting smoking gradually.

For example,  you can avoid passive smoking as much as possible. Moreover, pharmacotherapy, behavioural counselling and combination therapy can help you to get rid of tobacco and nicotine addiction.

2. Reduce Your Alcohol Consumption

Excessive alcohol consumption can cause developing several cancers, such as: mouth, oesophagus, and breast cancer.

For Instance, alcohol-containing ethanol and its toxic by-product acetaldehyde damages cells by binding with DNA. And causing cells to replicate incorrectly influencing hormone levels.

Therefore, people who choose to drink alcohol should limit their intake. Which can reduce the chances of developing cancer

3. Reduce Exposure to UV Radiation

It has been estimated that there are over one million diagnoses of skin cancer per year. However, there are many cases that remain undiagnosed. Because the majority of people don’t pay attention to the changes in their skin or body.

Ultraviolet radiations are the major cause of cancer. Too much UV radiation from the sun or sunbeds can damage the genetic material (the DNA) in your skin cells.

So, in order to reduce exposure to UV radiation, you should adopt the following preventive measures.

  • Avoid excessive sun exposure.
  • Cover your face and body while leaving your house or office.
  • Use a high SPF sun cream.
  • Stay in the shade as much as possible.

4. Stay Physically Active

A sedentary lifestyle and obesity can lead to different types of cancers such as: bowel, breast, ovarian, and pancreatic. However, regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight not only minimize the chances of cancer. But it can also help you to manage existing cancers.

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