Cancer is a disease that causes the process of cell division to go wrong in the body ultimately leading to the formation of a cancerous tumour. Although we know how cancer develops we do not know what triggers the cancerous growth. However, there are certain risk factors associated with it. In this article I will be discussing four of these possible cancer risk factors in greater detail.
1) AGE:- As discussed above, cancer develops when the process of cell division malfunctions. The older we get the more times our cells have divided meaning there is more opportunity for something to go wrong. Furthermore, the older we get the more times our body’s cells release DNA damaging by products that can disrupt the process of cell division. Therefore, age acts as a cancer risk factor.
2) EXPOSURE TO CARCINOGENS:- Carcinogens are substances that are directly involved in the promotion of cancer. They can be found in; asbestos, car exhaust fumes, tobacco smoke (which contains over 70 carcinogens) and radiation. Therefore, people who are heavily exposed to these substances (such as heavy cigarette smokers) have an increased cancer risk.
3) POOR DIET:- Research suggests that certain foods can protect you against cancer. For example, fruits and vegetables contain a number of powerful anti-oxidants that can protect your cells from damage. Therefore, by eating a poor diet that is devoid of these nutrients you increase your risk of contracting cancer.
4) SEDENTARY LIFESTYLE:- Research has shown that there is a strong link between exercise and cancer risk. The more exercise you do the less likely your chances of developing cancer appear to be although it is not known exactly why. In a study of 40,000 men by Cancer Research UK those who walked or cycled for an hour a day were 16% less likely to get cancer. Therefore, people who lead an inactive, sedentary lifestyle have a greater chance of getting cancer.
Although no one is sure exactly what causes cancer to develop, research has identified the above as definite risk factors. Whilst aging cannot be controlled if you stay away from carcinogens, eat the right foods and exercise regularly you can significantly reduce your chances of contracting cancer.
Whilst every intention has been made to make this article accurate and informative, it is intended for general information only. Cancer is a very serious, life threatening condition and you should discuss any concerns, treatments or lifestyle changes fully with your doctor.
Tom Parker owns and operates a number of useful fitness resources and websites. You can learn more about the different cancer risk factors and get a free fitness tip delivered to your email inbox every day for a full year by visiting his websites.