The Causes of Cancer – Why Cancer Develops
In case you don’t know yet, potential causes of cancer are categorized into two: the unavoidable and the avoidable. The unavoidable possible reasons for this dreaded disease include:
Yes, the older you get, the more susceptible you are to getting the disease. That’s part of growing old. Your body at 60 is totally unlike your body at 25. Your immune system is weaker and your cells have also aged. This, coupled with poor lifestyle habits when you were still young, will make you more prone to diseases including cancer.
Your cells undergo changes everyday but the DNA of your cells is equipped to repair itself. If it can’t repair itself, the cell will die and another cell will grow and replace it. Everything is fine and dandy again. But there are times when the DNA can’t repair itself and the cell doesn’t die. Instead, it grows and divides out of control. That’s what causes cancer to start.
Your family’s history
There are cancers that tend to “run” in families. These are either hereditary or familial kinds. If you have a first-degree relative who has colon cancer, you are more likely to get the disease as well.
Now for the avoidable causes of cancer:
Smoking…this is first on my list.
It’s the leading cause of lung cancer and this type is the number 1 cause of death among men and women due to cancer. Second-hand smoking is even deadlier. A single stick of cigarette contains poisonous chemicals such as ammonia and benzene.
Alcohol like tobacco is a definite carcinogen and the combination of alcohol and tobacco is deadly. If you smoke AND you drink, you’re a sure candidate for the deadly disease. Alcohol increases risk for hormone-related cancers because it has a negative effect on the production of your hormones.
Obesity or being overweight
Obesity or being overweight also increases your risk for hormone-related cancers such as cancers of the breast, prostate and colon.
Lack of physical activity
If you lack exercise, you’re missing out on the protective effect exercise provides your body against the disease. If you live a sedentary lifestyle, you are more prone to it and to other diseases such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Do you like potato chips or french fries? There’s a valid reason why potato chips and french fries are called junk food. They offer absolutely zero nutritive value and contain high level of acrylamide which is a cancer-causing substance released by potatoes when fried.
Stress as a cause of cancer is still a subject of debate but stress contributes significantly to the development of cancerous cells in your body. Experts acknowledge that stress affects your immune system and even your whole body. Have you ever noticed that when you are under too much stress, you get a splitting headache or your stomach becomes acidic? You also catch a cold more easily.
Exposure to ultraviolet radiation
Ultraviolet radiation causes wrinkles and coarse texture of your skin, cataracts to form in your eyes and weakens your immune system. Continued and overexposure to the effects of uv radiation leads to skin cancer.
Exposure to ionizing radiation
Radon gas is one source of ionizing radiation and a known carcinogen that leads to lung cancer and leukemia. Another source of ionizing radiation is medical procedures such as X-rays and radiation therapy. These medical procedures can be causes of cancer but remember than an occasional X-ray doesn’t put you at risk for the disease. But radiation therapy that uses a large amount of radiation to kill malignant cells can cause another type of malignancy to begin.
Exposure to carcinogenic chemicals
Some people work at jobs that require handling chemicals that are known carcinogenic such as formaldehyde and asbestos.
Exposure to cancer-causing viruses and bacteria
There are viruses and bacteria that are causes of cancer. The Human Papilloma Virus or HPV puts you at risk for cervical malignancy and H. Pylori bacteria may lead to stomach cancer.
We all have cancerous cells in our bodies but not all of us will be afflicted with the disease itself because it’s what you do to your body that makes your cancerous cells to take over and rule.Knowing what causes cancer helps you not fear cancer anymore and see cancer for what it really is — largely preventable.
Would you like to learn causes of specific types of cancer such as leukemia? See Causes of Leukemia Cells.
Belen Tanghal is a health enthusiast and believes prevention is the key to winning the war against cancer. Her website at http://www.your-cancer-prevention-guide.com/ offers easy-to-comprehend information on why cancer starts and steps on prevention.
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