What Are The Causes Of Cancer

Cancer is the rapid and uncontrolled growth of cells in the body. Some cancers are malignant, invading nearby tissues. Others are benign and do not spread to other tissues. Cancer causing risk factors include:  
Chemical and Environmental Risk Factors
Exposure to asbestos on the job, pollution in the environment,  and household chemicals may increase the risk for asbestosis, nonmaglignant lung and pleural disorders, lung cancer, mesothelioma, and other cancers. Formaldehyde, a chemical used in making building materials and many household products has been classified as a probable human cancer causing carcinogen by the US Environmental Protection Agency.
Cancer Risk Factors From Food
Acrylamide is a chemical found in certain foods, with high levels in potato chips and French fries. It is still unknown whether the amount of acrylamide typically found in some foods poses a health risk to humans. On the other hand, heavy and regular consumption of alcohol increases the risk for developing cancer of the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, liver, breast, colon and rectum.
On artificial sweeteners and flouridated water, no clear evidence has shown they are associated with cancer risk in humans. As for heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are chemicals formed when muscle meat like beef, pork, poultry or fish is cooked by frying or grilled over an open fire, there is evidence that exposure to high levels of HCAs and PAHs can cause cancer in lab animals. But it is unclear to researchers, whether such exposure causes cancer in humans. However, you can reduce your exposure to HCAs and PAHs, by reducing the time meat and poultry are in direct contact with open fire, or a hot metal surface by first cooking them half-way done in boiling water.
Genetic Factors
Men and women who inherit the harmful mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes have an increased risk for breast cancer, and ovarian cancer in women. Genetic mutation may increase the risk for cancer. A mutation like hereditary cancer syndrome, can be inherited from parents.
Hormonal Factors
Studies of the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, and the taking of oral contraceptives have shown slight increase in the risk for cancer. However, other factors occurring during pregnancy, as well as 10 years after ending the use of oral contraceptives, have shown a reduction in the risk for cancer. Before forming an opinion on oral contraceptives, talk with your doctor, because you need more information than is provided here.
Other Causes of Cancer
Infectious agents like HIV, human papillomaviruses (HPVs) and helicobacter pylori may increase the risk for cancer. Exposure to radiation from appliances and the environment can increase the risk for cancer. Sunlight, tobacco, overweight and aging can also increase the risk for cancer.

Research Source: The National Cancer Institute.

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