How do perfectly healthy people get cancer?

The risk of cancer has a lot to do with lifestyle, environmental, hereditary and occupational factors. Exposure to environmental chemicals or radiation can induce changes in the DNA to cause cancer. These risk factors are also known as occupational because they are associated with one’s occupation.

The U.S. National Toxicology Program website regularly releases a list of all known cancer-causing carcinogens. Recently, this program has recognised Antimony Trioxide, Haloacetic acids found as water disinfection by-products and Heliobacter pylori as potential cancer-causing carcinogens. The list of cancer risk factors is also available here

Besides this, heredity can also induce cancer among people with a family history. If you have a relative who has cancer, your chance of acquiring cancer increases in the future. However, the American Cancer Society (ACS) website has shown that only about 5 percent to 10 percent of all cancer cases occur due to heredity. The reason for it lies in the fact that most cancers occur due to autosomal dominant inheritance.

The environment and heredity are risk factors that we cannot change. Another risk factor that we cannot do anything about is getting old. A study has shown that the incidence of most cancers has been recorded among older people.

However, one risk factor that we can change is an unhealthy lifestyle. A study has shown that an unhealthy lifestyle can cause non-communicable diseases like cancer. If you eat a bad diet, smoke tobacco or drink alcohol, your chance of acquiring cancer increases in comparison to a person who does not consume these DNA changing products. Furthermore, prolonged inactivity is also a risk factor for cancer. That being the case, a sedentary lifestyle and a western diet that is high in red meat and dairy products have been widely criticized by researchers.

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Disclaimer
Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can further read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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