It’s a question nearly every cancer patient asks — “How did I get cancer?” Unfortunately, the answer is rarely straightforward or simple. Though risk factors can increase your likelihood of developing cancer, it’s often not possible to pinpoint exactly what caused a person to get cancer.
Common Causes of Cancer
Smoking and Tobacco
Perhaps no one thing is more closely linked to cancer than cigarettes and tobacco products. Inside cigarettes are thousands of chemicals that increase your risk of many diseases, including cancer.
Diet and Activity Level
Alcohol, processed food, sugar, and red meat are all considered carcinogenic to humans. While that doesn’t mean you have to cut them out of your diet entirely, it means you should enjoy them in moderation. On a day-to-day basis, your meals should be high in fruits, vegetables, fiber, and healthy protein.
Low physical activity could also play a role in your likelihood of getting cancer. Living an active lifestyle can help reduce your risk of cancer, improve hormone levels, and boost your immune system.
Today, skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in America. And of those cancers, it’s believed that most were caused by excess sun exposure.
Unfortunately, some people can do everything right and still get cancer. This is because your risk of cancer is largely associated with your genes and family history. If you inherited a gene fault from one of your parents, you have a 50% chance of developing cancer at some point in your life.
Reducing Your Risk of Cancer
- Get regular cancer screenings. Regular screenings can help catch cancer in its earlier stages, when it’s more treatable. Talk to your doctor about when you should begin regular testing for breast, cervical, lung, and colon cancer.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity is also a risk factor for cancer and many other diseases. However, weight can be easily managed by a diet high in fruits and vegetables, and by living an active lifestyle.
- Avoid tobacco. If you don’t smoke, never start. If you do, you should try to quit as soon as possible.
- Limit your alcohol intake. Essentially, the more alcohol you drink, the higher your risk of cancer is. If you’re a man, you should have no more than two drinks a day. If you’re a woman, you should have no more than one.
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.