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Cancer Causes and Risk Factors

cancer diseaseCancer is a disease caused by abnormal growth of body tissue cells. Cancer cells grew rapidly, uncontrolled, and continue to divide, then infiltration into surrounding tissues (invasive) and continue to spread through body tissue, blood, and attack vital organs and spinal cord.

Normally, cells divide to produce more cells only when the body needs them. But, cancer cells will continue divide even the body does not need it, causing an accumulation of new cells, called malignant tumors. The stacking cells will damage normal tissue, thus disturbing the organs they are occupied.

Cancer can occur in various tissues in various organs on every part of body, ranging from feet to head. If the cancer occurs on the surface of the body, it will be easily detected and cured. But if it is in the body, the cancer will be difficult to detect and sometimes have no symptoms. Although have symptoms, usually already at an advanced stage that it’s difficult to treat.

Many type of cancers are caused by environmental risk factors such as smoking, alcohol abuse, sun exposure, and poor nutrition. By knowing the causes of cancer can help you reduce the likelihood of developing the disease.

Cancer Causes and Risk Factors

Genetic Factors

Some families have higher risk for certain cancers compared with other families. There are certain types of cancer that tend to inherited in the family members including breast cancer, ovarian cancer, colon cancer and skin cancer. For example, the risk for women suffer from breast cancer increased 1.5 to 3 times if her mother or sister had the cancer.

Environmental Factors

  • Cigarette smoke increases the risk of occurring lung cancer, mouth, larynx, and bladder cancer.
  • Ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun
  • Ionizing radiation used in x-ray can damage normal cells and increase the risk of developing breast cancer, thyroid cancer, and lung cancer.


Some foods that can cause cancer are:

  • High cholesterol foods which are linked to several types of cancers such as uterine cancer, colorectal cancer (colon cancer) and prostate cancer.
  • Alcohol drinks
  • Food coloring
  • Foods that contain mercury like shellfish, fish, etc

Psychological Factor

Severe stress could affect the cells, where the cells become hyperactive and turn into malignant, causing the developing of cancer.


The viruses that can cause cancer include:

  • Papillomavirus which can cause genital warts presumably, leading to cervical cancer in women.
  • Cytomegalovirus which can cause Kaposi’s sarcoma (cancer of the blood vessel system which is marked by red skin lesions)
  • Hepatitis B virus which can cause liver cancer.
  • Epstein-Barr virus which can cause cancer of the nose and throat.
  • RetroVirus in humans such as HIV virus which can cause lymphoma and other blood cancers.