What are some factors to reduce and increase the risk of cancer?

Expert Answers
besure77 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is a question that has numerous answers. Each and every day scientists discover new ways to help prevent cancer and new or improved treatment options are found. Research also shows us new cancer risks as well.

The best way to reduce the chance of getting cancer is to simply live a healthier lifestyle. This can be done by quitting smoking, staying out of the sun, lowering alcohol consumption, and eating healthier foods that are low in fat.

Ways to decrease chances for getting cancer are exercising regularly, eating lots of vegetables and fruits, and drinking lots of water.

Some people are genetically predisposed to cancer as well. There are many tests (ex. ovarian cancer) that can help determine a persons chance of getting a particular type of cancer in the future.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This really depends on the kind of cancer that we are talking about.

Of course, smoking is a huge factor in the development of lung cancer, so stopping smoking reduces the risk and smoking increases it.

Chewing tobacco increases the risk of cancers of the mouth and throat.

Being exposed to ultraviolet definitely increases the risk of skin cancer.

Having sex with a carrier is the only way for a woman to get cervical cancer.

Having a good diet can decrease the risk of cancer.  Drinking alcohol can increase cancer risk.  Eating and drinking lots of things that have antioxidants in them can reduce the risk.

You can follow the links below for more on cancer risks and prevention.

ct-bio | Student

Depends on what you mean by cancer.  Would you call a brief encounter with cancer, something that you never knew that you had, something that your body killed off, cancer?  That doesn't seem to be the dreaded disease "cancer."   Biologically, it's cancer; but it's not what we usually call "cancer."

Let me tell you a true events story.  Down in one of those southern states (sorry, doing this all by memory -- no references), they performed autopsies on the dead from car accidents.  While researching the database, someone (sorry -- don't remember who) discovered that there were too many dead people with "cancer".   The cancer didn't kill them -- the car accident killed them.  Yet there were maybe 10X the number of people found with cancer, as usually catch or die from all sources of cancer.  Many ideas were considered, including the possibility that people with cancer were using their cars to commit suicide.  What was finally concluded, however, was that cancers pop up in the body all the time, but most of the time the human immune system wins.  What we call the dreaded disease cancer is one of those times when the immune system is losing.

The immediate response to reduce cancer, therefore, is to keep a healthy immune system, which means to keep healthy.  Not smoking, cutting sun exposure, eating fruits and vegetables, and exercising is a good start to reduce the risk of cancer.  I think something as simple as wiping tobacco tars on the skin will induce cancer on the site.

Also makes you wonder about "early" detection of cancers.  If it's too early a detection, might we just be stressing someone who was going to beat the cancer naturally?   And by "stressing" I mean aiding the cancer.