Diseases Cancer

Who Is Most At Risk For Cancer?

Introduction

Cancer is a disease that can strike any person regardless of their current health condition. However, there are some factors that can impact who is most at risk for cancer. By recognizing whether you are at an increased risk, you can potentially make changes to lower the risk. If you are a person who is most at risk for cancer, knowing the risk factors can help you to stay aware of any changes to your health so that you can take advantage of an early diagnosis if you do have cancer.

Family History

People with a family history of cancer are more likely to develop cancer than those without a family history. Cancers affecting the breast, ovaries and prostate are prone to have genetic roots. Gene mutations, or changes, are often passed from generation to generation. Other types of cases such as skin or lung cancer are not normally passed down. If you have a family history of cancer, consult with your physician to determine if there is testing available to determine your risk of developing cancer. Genetic testing can often help you to make lifestyle and dietary changes to lower your risk of developing cancer.

Workplace/Environment Factors

People who are exposed to certain environmental and workplace factors often fall into the category of those who is most at risk for cancer. Exposure to chemicals and substances such as asbestos, nickel and vinyl chloride over an extended period of time can lead to the development of cancer. Furthermore, people who work in certain fields often are most at risk for cancer. Construction workers, painters and foundry workers are more likely to develop cancer. Workers can take precautions to minimize the impact of toxins and substances in the environment and workplace. The use of masks, protective clothing and hair coverings can lower a person's chances of developing cancer.

Diet, Exercise and Other Factors

People with a poor diet and who do not engage in physical activities are who is most at risk for cancer. Eating a diet that is rich in fats and sugars can increase the risk of developing cancers in the breast, kidney and esophagus. Physical activity is important to not only lowering a person's risk for cancer, but also for overall health. Other diseases such as diabetes and heart disease can develop as a result of not engaging in physical activities. A dietitian can help a person who is most at risk for cancer to develop an eating plan that encourages healthy eating. A personal trainer or doctor can also help a person who is most at risk for cancer with an exercise program. Other factors that may affect w ho is at risk for cancer include growing older, smoking and certain viruses. Viruses such as the human papillomavirus and Epstein-Barr increase a person's chances of developing cancer. Alcohol also plays a role in the development of cancers such as liver and kidney cancer. If you are a person considered to be who is most at risk for cancer, contact your doctor to determine what steps you can take to minimize the likelihood of developing cancer.

By Laurel Moore, published at 02/22/2012
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