Causes & risk factors of cancer 

All the causes of cancer is still unknown. However, there are numerous agents which have been shown to cause cancer like –

  • Tobacco
  • UV radiations
  • Asbestos

Most of the type of cancer share the risk factors –

  • 10% of cancers and 20% of cancer deaths are due to smoking.
  • 3% of cancer is related to consumption of alcohol.
  • Exposure to radiation
  • Faulty diet
  • Genetics / Inherited faulty gene

Sometimes cancer may also develop without any cause.

Cancer may be caused in case any of family member also had cancer. It is generally because of –

  • Similar food and lifestyle habits (eating and smoking)
  • Inherited faulty gene that causes cancer.
  • Just by chance

How to know you have chance of developing cancer if someone in your family also has cancer ?

  • Look at number of blood relatives who had cancer.
  • Age at which the cancer is developed among the family members.
  • Pattern of cancer in the family.

Types of family cancer –

  • Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP)
  • Hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (known as HNPCC)
  • Hereditary breast and ovarian cancer
  • Neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2)
  • Von Hippel Lindau syndrome (VHL)
  • Retinoblastoma
  • Melanoma
  • Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1)
  • Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 (MEN2)

Genetic testing-

Genetic testing is the testing of a persons genes. In this technique faulty genes is tested based on strong family history of cancer and the age at which they develop cancer.

Environmental Causes – 

There are some environmental causes which are responsible for causing cancer. These may be biological (viruses or bacteria), physical (UV and x-rays), and some carcinogen chemicals.

Proven risk

  • Smoking
  • Air pollution
  • Solarium tanning
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Deliberate exposure to sunlight
  • Excessive exposure to some of the chemicals.

Likely risk-

  • Smoking marijuana
  • Chemicals in processed meat

Inferred risk –

  • Use of hair dyes
  • Living near power lines

Unknown carcinogen risk –

  • Mobile phone use
  • Sodium lauryl sulphate in cosmetics

Unlikely risk –

  • Drinking coffee
  • Consuming artificial sweetener
  • Using deodorants
  • Dental fillings
  • Breast implants
Abigale breast cancer treatment

I was detected with breast cancer in Dec 2018 in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. I went for some prelim workup in South Africa, however soon found out that cost of treatment in South Africa is very very high as compared to India. I contacted Mr Sandeep from Sahyogita and he helped me find out not only a very good hospital but also very economical one. Rates of this hospital was almost half as compred to other hospitals in India. I went to the hospital, did my breast conservative surgery, afterwards chemo. Now I am totally free from any disease. Right from medical visa, airport pickc up, gust house arrangement, everything was arranged by Mr Sandeep. Sandeep goes extra miles to help patients. We shall ever be grateful to Sandeep for all the help & care provided in India. 

Abigale - Zimbabwe

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