Common Causes of Cancer


It’s often the first thought a patient has after they’ve been told they have cancer — “How did this happen?” While our knowledge of carcinogens (cancer-causing substance) has grown tremendously, it’s often difficult or impossible to pinpoint how a person got cancer.

Typically, cancer is caused by one of the following risk factors:

  • Diet: Your diet plays a role in nearly every aspect of your health, including your risk of cancer. Numerous studies have shown that a diet high in plant-based foods can significantly reduce your risk of cancer. Consequently, diets high in processed, sugary foods can raise your risk.
  • Sun Exposure: Skin cancer remains one of the most common cancers in the United States. You can protect yourself from skin cancer by always wearing sunscreen and/or protective clothing when you’re outside and by never using a tanning bed.
  • Tobacco Use: As the greatest risk factor for lung cancer, tobacco products also raise your risk of nearly every other type of cancer.
  • Alcohol Use: Heavy alcohol use has been linked to several cancers, including cancer of the mouth, throat, voice box, esophagus, colon, rectum, liver, and breasts.
  • Obesity: Obesity and diet are closely connected, as someone with a poor diet is more likely to be overweight. The World Cancer Research Fund estimates that 20% of all cancers diagnosed in the United States are related to body fatness, physical inactivity, excessive alcohol consumption, and/or poor nutrition.
  • Genetics: Just like other diseases, some cancers “run in the family.” For example, if your mother, sister, grandmother, or aunt had breast cancer in their lifetime, your risk of breast cancer raises as well. While many risk factors are within your control, genetics (as well as sex and age) are not.

Beverly Oncology & Imaging offers state-of-the-art medical technology with greater convenience than hospitals can offer. We are leaders in our field, using cutting-edge technology like Rotating Gamma Technology™,External Beam therapy, and brachytherapy. Contact us today to discuss treatment options or to make an appointment.
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