How Do You Decrease Cancer Risk

Some risk factors, like age, cannot be avoided, but limiting your exposure to other factors may lower your risk. The American Association for Cancer Research says these “preventable causes” are responsible for “more than 40 percent of all cancers diagnosed and nearly half of all deaths from cancer in the United States.”

The National Cancer Institute lists the most-studied known or suspected risk factors for cancer:

ADVANCING AGE is the most important risk factor for cancer overall and for many cancer types.

DRINKING ALCOHOL can increase your risk of mouth, throat, esophagus, larynx (voice box), liver, and breast cancers.

ENVIRONMENTAL EXPOSURES to various cancer-causing substances can damage DNA and lead to cancer.

CHRONIC INFLAMMATION can cause DNA damage over time and lead to cancer.

CERTAIN FOODS: for example, frequent consumption of red and processed meat is a known risk factor for colorectal cancer.

HORMONES: for example, being exposed for a long time and/or to high levels of estrogen and progesterone has been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer.

IMMUNOSUPPRESSION: immunosuppressive diseases like HIV/AIDS, and drugs that suppress the immune system, make it less able to detect and destroy cancer cells or fight off cancer-causing infections.

INFECTIOUS AGENTS: some viruses, bacteria, and parasites can cause cancer or increase cancer risk.

OBESITY can increase cancer risk in the breast (in post-menopausal women), colon, rectum, endometrium (lining of the uterus), esophagus, kidney, pancreas, and gallbladder.

IONIZING RADIATION, including radon, X-rays, gamma rays, and other forms of high-energy radiation, can damage DNA and cause cancer.

SUNLIGHT: exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation causes damage that can lead to skin cancer.

TOBACCO USE has been linked to lung, larynx (voice box), mouth, esophagus, throat, bladder, kidney, liver, stomach, pancreas, colorectal, and cervical cancer, as well as acute myeloid leukemia. Smokeless tobacco use increases the risk of mouth, esophagus, and pancreatic cancer. Tobacco use is a leading cause of cancer and of death from cancer.

RBOI’s licensed clinical social workers can help you with free programs in smoking cessation and stress reduction, and can help you access screening. Give us a call.

Beyond Cancer: Living Life to the Fullest

“We Can” Weekend is a free event for those facing cancer, cancer survivors, and their families. This special program of seminars, vendors, resources, and more occurs on Saturday, February 24, 2024, from 9:30 am. to 12:30 p.m. at the Veteran Foreign Legion, 699 W Lady Lake Blvd, Lady Lake, FL 32159. Breakfast and goodie bags are included. You must register by Feb. 19, 2024. Call 352-732- 0277 or email Amy Roberts:

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Robert Boissoneault Oncology Institute