Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the world. According to World Health Organization data, 9.6 million deaths were caused by cancer in 2018, and globally 1 in 6 people died from cancer.
Cancer occurs due to repeated mutations of normal cells. Causes the formation of malignant abnormal cells that develop uncontrollably so that it interferes with the activity of normal cells. The cause of cancer in general is not only on one factor but can be influenced by many triggers.
Causes of cancer generally because of heredity and environment. Heredity or the term congenital is cancer that occurs because a person has the potential for cancer since before birth. While environmental or acquired factors are the cause of cancer due to unhealthy lifestyles or exposure to solar or nuclear radiation. The following are general cancer-causing factors that need to be watched out for. However, it should be underlined that these factors do not necessarily lead to cancer but increase a person’s risk of developing cancer.
1. Family History
As quoted from the Cancer Institute NSW, some families carry problematic genes that can be passed from one generation to the next. If there is a family history of cancer, the offspring is more at risk of developing certain types of cancer.
There are various types of cancer and the five most common causes of death are lung cancer, colon cancer, stomach cancer, liver cancer, and breast cancer. Lung cancer, which causes the most deaths, is generally a result of smoking.
The common cause of cancer affecting the lungs and a number of other cancers is exposure to chemicals contained in tobacco cigarettes.
3. Excessive Alcohol Consumption
The next common cause of cancer is excessive alcohol consumption. Drinking too much alcohol is often linked to liver cancer.
4. Too Frequent Sun Exposure Ultraviolet
radiation from sunlight is the cause of melanoma and other types of skin cancer such as Basal Cell Carcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma.
5. Viruses and Bacteria
The next common causes of cancer are viruses and bacteria. Some types of viruses can trigger cancer if not treated properly. For example, HPV (human papilloma virus), a virus that is transmitted through sexual contact can cause cervical cancer.
6. Overweight or Obesity
Overweight and obesity are the causes of several types of cancer. As reported by Cancer Research UK, the more fat or obese a person is, the greater the risk of developing cancer.
Types of cancer that are triggered by obesity include breast cancer (usually occurs after menopausal women), colon cancer, pancreatic cancer, kidney cancer, and liver cancer. However, cancer due to obesity and obesity can most be prevented by changing a healthier diet and exercising diligently.
7. Unhealthy Diet
The next common cause of cancer is an unhealthy diet or diet. For example, often eating junk food, consuming factory-processed food every day, eating too much food containing preservatives, consuming too much sugar and salt to consuming excessive trans oil.
Studies conducted in Australia, show about 25 percent of cancer can be prevented by having a healthy diet and exercise regularly. Some types of cancer that can be prevented with a healthy diet and exercise are colon cancer, stomach cancer, and breast cancer.
8. Nuclear Radiation
Nuclear radiation is rare in the modern era like today. But can be included as a cause of cancer in general. An example of a case that occurred several years after the Hiroshima bomb attack in World War II.
Residents around the city of Hiroshima who survived the bomb explosion at that time reportedly had skin cancer. Apart from nuclear radiation, exposure to an electric field that is too large beyond the capacity that the cells can accept can also trigger cancer.