4 Lifestyle Factors That Increase Cancer Risk

Just as your lifestyle can affect how healthy you are, lifestyle is also a pretty huge determinant of things that go the opposite direction – such as your risk for cancer. Many things can put you more at risk of this dreaded disease than other people, and in this article, that’s what we’ll be talking about.

1 Alcohol consumption

People who drink alcohol are much more at risk of certain cancers than those who don’t. The more you drink regularly and over time, the more at-risk you are of cancer. These are binge drinkers (upwards of 5 drinks in a sitting for men, and upwards of 4 glasses every sitting for women), and even those who only have one drink a day but do so regularly. Estimates from the National Cancer Institute suggest that as of 2009, at least 3.5% of all cancer deaths are because of alcohol. Drinkers are more likely to suffer from cancer in the neck, head, esophagus, liver, breast, colons, and rectum.

2 Tobacco

Regular smokers and regular inhalers of secondhand smoke are more at risk of cancers in the mouth, throat, esophagus, larynx, lungs, liver, stomach, kidneys, etc. This is thought to be because smoke from tobacco contains many harmful chemicals that damage human DNA and result in the conditions necessary for cancer growth. There are no “safe” levels – any form and amount of tobacco usage is a risk factor. The risk from tobacco use also significantly increases when paired with regular alcohol drinking.

3 Obesity

Obese people tend to also be more at risk for many health issues, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and diabetes. However, studies have shown that obesity has increased the risk of at least 8 types of cancer, including breast, colon, and rectum. Conversely, having a healthy body mass coupled with proper diet and exercise has reduced the risk of several cancer types.

4 Sunlight

This much is common knowledge – increased exposure to sunlight increases your risk for skin cancer as well. This is because UV (ultraviolet) radiation is one of the main components of sunlight, and this radiation can be very harmful to the human skin in excess. People of all body types, ages, and health backgrounds must limit the amount of time they spend under the sun and minimize the amount of UV radiation that can get into their skin by avoiding exposure and the use of sunblock. Keep in mind that the sun’s rays contain the most UV radiation between 10 AM and 4 PM. Cancer is a dreadful disease that afflicts many people in the modern world, and as far as the progress we’ve made about combating it, there are still many things that we do not know. However, we know that your lifestyle can affect cancer risk, so stay out of these 4 lifestyle factors that we listed if you want to minimize your chances of getting cancer.