9 Surprising Things That Can Raise Your Cancer Risk

About 9 out of 10 lung cancers are caused by smoking. Smoking can cause at least 15 different types of cancer. If you haven’t quit, get help from:

Things that can raise risk of cancer


Even though you don’t smoke, you can equally be affected by smoke from a smoker’s cigarettes. Smoke coming off the end of a burning cigarette releases hundreds of toxic chemicals into the air. About 70 of those smoke can cause cancer. A large cigar emits about the same amount of secondhand smoke as an entire pack of cigarettes. There is no “safe amount” of secondhand smoke, even low levels can be harmful to your health. Some research suggests secondhand smoke may also increase the risk of developing breast cancer.

READ ALSO: Smoking 1 Stick of Cigarette a Day Can Still Kill You

You’re obese

Excess fat tissue produces excess amounts of hormones that may encourage cell growth and spread. Obesity may also cause chronic inflammation, which over time can damage DNA – this is one of the things that cause cancer. Obesity is linked with a greater risk of breast cancer, colon cancer, and endometrial cancer, among others.

Sedentary Lifestyle

Prolonged sitting is also one of the things that cause cancer. From sitting in your chair in the office or at home, to sitting on the couch while watching TV for long hours, you could be at higher risk for developing certain types of cancer, according to scientists in Germany.

READ ALSO: 6 Top Exercises For People Who Sit All Day

Researchers examined 43 observational studies, which included more than 4 million people and almost 70,000 cancer cases, and discovered an additional two hours a day of sedentary behavior was linked to an 8 percent increase in colon cancer risk, a 10 percent increase in endometrial cancer risk, and a 6 percent increase in risk for lung cancer, even among people who were otherwise physically active. In another study, researchers from the American Cancer Society revealed that women who always sit are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer, myeloma, and ovarian cancer.

READ ALSO: Prolonged Sitting Tied to Risk of Death from 14 Diseases

You also don’t walk enough

Taking least 30 minutes’ walk at a moderate pace, five or more days a week. Break up the recommended 30 into 10, 10, and 10, if that’s more manageable. Research has consistently shown that adults who increase their physical activity either in intensity, duration, or frequency, can reduce their risk of developing colon cancer by up to 40 percent, compared to those who are sedentary.

You withhold on sunscreen

Sunscreen can help prevent skin cancer and premature aging. You even buy the right kind: broad-spectrum, SPF 30 or higher, water resistant. However, if you are miserly with the sunscreen and don’t slather on enough, you’re shortchanging your skin on sun protection. Most adults need at least one ounce of sunscreen to cover the exposed spots (which includes the tips of your ears, and the backs of your hands, neck, and feet if you’re in flip-flops; that’s a shot-glass full, or about how much you can hold in the palm of your hand. Studies show most of us squirt and rub only a quarter to, at most, half of that amount. Apply sunscreen about 15 to 30 minutes before heading outdoors so the ingredients can fully bind to your skin. Also, reapply the same 1-ounce amount every two hours, or immediately after swimming or sweating.

You always sleep with the TV on

This cancer risk factor isn’t as well-studied, however, studies suggest that exposing our bodies to artificial light at night increases risk for certain cancers, such as breast cancer and prostate cancer, which both require hormones to grow. According to reports, women who work night shifts have shown slightly higher rates of breast cancer, whereas blind women have shown decreased risks. And a study of 164 countries indicated those with higher overall levels of artificial light at night were associated with higher incidences of breast cancer. Exposure to artificial light at night suppresses the production of melatonin, a hormone that helps control the sleep cycle, and works as a powerful antioxidant. Some research suggests lower levels of melatonin are linked to a higher risk of breast cancer. Read a paperback instead of a tablet, keep your phones far from the bed, keep your laptop out of the bedroom, and set a timer on your TV so it turns off.

READ ALSO: Sleeping With Your Mobile Phone Could Cause Infertility and Cancer

Your mom got cancer young

Cancer runs in families. So, if your mother, father, or siblings were diagnosed at a younger-than-usual age, it may be a sign that it may be caused by an abnormal gene that you may have inherited. Note that even if a cancer-predisposing gene mutation is in a family, it doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone who has it will develop cancer. Generally, inherited mutations result in only about 5 to 10 percent of all cancers.

You like char on your steak

If you like that burnt taste you get from char on your chicken, you may unknowingly be exposing yourself to cancer. Grilling meats at the high temperatures so you can get that “doneness” creates HCAs (heterocyclic amines) and PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), chemicals that have been shown to cause changes in DNA that may increase cancer risk. Exposure to HCAs, formed in meats cooked 300°F and hotter, lead to the development of tumors in the breast, colon, prostate, and other organs, in animal studies. PAHs are formed when fat and juices from meat drips onto an open fire or hot coals, producing flames and smoke that settles on the food. Rodents fed high levels of this compound developed cancer too. Epidemiological studies have shown that regular eating of charred meat, whether fried, or barbecued, was associated with increased risks of colorectal cancer, prostate cancer, and pancreatic cancer.

READ ALSO: Eating Lots of Grilled Meats May Affect Chances of Surviving Breast Cancer

Regular consumption of alcohol

Regular consumption of alcohol is one of the things that cause cancer. If you choose to take alcohol, the recommended daily limit is one for women, two for men. The more alcohol you consume, the higher your risk of developing certain cancers: specifically that of the esophagus, liver, and breast.


Disclaimer: The content provided on healthdiary365.com is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical doctor or healthcare professional.

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