Causes of Cancer

Cancers can develop from a variety of sources and causes. A major source is a group of chemicals known as carcinogens, which have been found in industrial pollutants, cigarette smoke and some food additives and pesticides. People exposed to carcinogens are more susceptible to cancer, but not everyone exposed to these carcinogens develops cancer.

Other causes of cancer include obesity, excessive consumption of alcohol, a sedentary lifestyle, exposure to large amounts of radiation and too much sunlight. Certain viruses can also cause cancers, such as cervical cancer or liver cancer.

Cancer is also linked to heredity. If you have a strong family history of cancer, you may be more likely to develop cancer. Your parents can pass a gene to you that makes you more susceptible to cancer, or a genetic mutation can be passed to you through your father’s sperm or your mother’s egg that makes cancer more likely. 

Many scientists believe that the combination of a hereditary susceptibility to cancer and an environmental trigger, such as exposure to a carcinogen or being obese, puts individuals at risk of developing cancer, especially at an earlier adult age.

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