Because of its many causes and types, cancer is becoming a very prevalent disease. Researchers, scientists, and doctors are constantly making headway in cancer research, but there is still no definitive cure or universal treatment for cancer. Cancer can be incredibly detrimental to your health or even deadly. Thus, identifying it in its early stages is crucial to better chances of recovery. There are a variety of preventable and involuntary factors that can put you at a higher risk for cancer that can help you avoid or catch cancer early on.
Five to ten percent of all cancers are hereditary. This means that mutated and cancerous genes are either passed on from one or both your parents or something in your genetic makeup affects your body in such a way that you are more at risk for certain types of cancers. If you are not already aware of the health history of your family, ask relatives and find out if and what type of cancer(s) run in your family. If you find that cancer does run in your family, consider meeting with a genetic counselor to help you better understand hereditary disease, your chances of getting cancer, and what tests and procedures you should be getting done.
Another major cause of cancer is exposure to harmful chemicals. Some chemicals are carcinogenic only if you are exposed to large amounts. On the other hand, some chemicals are extremely carcinogenic, even if you are only exposed to a small amount. If you work in a lab or you are around carcinogenic materials, make sure to follow all procedures and directions in working with these chemicals and wear protective equipment. Wearing the proper PPE can help you stay safe from chemicals that can cause cancer.
According to recent studies, over ninety percent of skin cancer is caused by sun exposure. Be mindful of your sun exposure; make sure to get regular check-ups to inspect your skin if you are constantly in the sun. When in the sun, wear long, protective clothing, when possible and always wear sunscreen. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to areas you might forget about like your neck, ears, and hands.
You cannot avoid all diseases in your life, but there are certainly things you can do to be proactive in cancer prevention and identification. Being mindful about your health history can have huge impacts on your future. When possible, do all you can to prevent environment-linked cancer.
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