Free Cancer Report

Causes of cancer

What are the risk factors of cancer?

There were attempts to link various cancer-related risk factors to one another. It is estimated that 43 per cent of all new cancer cases could be avoided by modifying the risk factors for cancer that individuals can affect through their own actions. Smoking is the largest single cause, accounting for up to 20 per cent of all new cases of cancer. [1, 2] It should be noted that the influence of the different population-level variables would vary depending on regional conditions and population health and socio-economic behaviour.

Categorizing RIsk factors of Cancer

Cancer risk factors can be roughly divided into the following categories:

  • Internal factors, such as age, sex, metabolism of substances foreign to the body, inherited genetic defects and non-inherited gene disorders, as well as the type of skin
  • Lifestyle-related factors,
  • Occupational exposures, e.g. many chemicals, radioactive materials and asbestos,
  • Environmental exposure, e.g. radon and UV radiation, as well as small particles.

Key points

  • The majority of cancers are related to ageing. The longer a person lives, the more likely it is that these cells develop cancer that causes lesions.
  • It is projected that by adjusting the risk factors that people can affect, more than 40 per cent of all new cancer cases may be prevented.
  • Tobacco is the single largest risk factor, accounting for up to 20 per cent of all new cancer cases.
  • Cancer development is a series of events over a period of many years, during which originally healthy genetic cell material is altered, and the cells transform into tissue separate from the regulatory systems of the body through a number of intermediate stages of the body. The malignant tissue inevitably provokes symptoms as it develops. In most cancer cases, it is difficult to determine the exact cause of the disease. Cancers are a variety of diseases, and their causes, development, symptoms and treatment can vary greatly from one another.
  • The creation of most cancers includes human factors related to behaviour and living conditions. While individual susceptibility can be a factor associated with some cancers, for a cancer to develop, external factors are necessary almost always.