Cancer A Lifestyle Disease: Unexplored Facets Of Cancer & Suggestions To Prevent It

Published on: 2017/08/26


Cancer is a complex, multifactorial, heterogeneous disease with a high mortality rate. Even in this era of cutting-edge therapies, prevention is better than therapy. This article discusses some points which can help the public understand and avoid cancers.

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Lifestyle and cancer, cancer prevention, avoiding cancer, cancer a lifestyle disease

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According to 2018 data (1), in the United States, 609,640 people are likely to die due to cancer and around 2 million cases will be diagnosed for cancer. The top five common cancers are,

  1. Breast cancer
  2. lung and bronchus cancer
  3. colon and rectum cancer
  4. Melanoma of the skin
  5. Bladder cancer

Is cancer a lifestyle disease?

Cancer is not a disease that just happens. It is caused by lifestyle changes and environmental factors. Scientists believe that cancers can be prevented with lifestyle changes. With just a small change, there can be a huge impact on individuals in preventing cancer.

What are the offending habits that cause cancers?

Environmental stressors

Environmental stressors are the major cause of cancer (2). The stressor can be food habits, chemical exposure or exposure to allergens or smoking.

Food habits & lifestyle factors

According to WHO, diets with high red and processed meat cause cancer. Other foods that cause cancer are genetically modified food, canned or processed food, refined sugar, smoked or pickled food, and hydrogenated oils.

The lifestyle factors such as poor exercise, obesity, smoking, and alcohol content are major causes of cancer.


Plastic fumes. Pesticides, tannery chemicals. and uranium radiation is some of the commonly known chemicals that cause cancer. We are exposed to chemicals when we inadvertently use the products associated with the usage of these chemicals.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maintains a database that contains the list of carcinogens in the environment and the health effects on the human beings. The EPA has classified the substances into five groups, which determines the level of carcinogens in the substance.

Other cause of cancer


According to the American Cancer Society (3), around 5-10 percent of the cancers are caused by genetic mutations. Mutation refers to the abnormal change in a gene. Gene mutations can be inherited mutations or somatic mutations. Examples of genetic cancers are, Hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, and hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer

As we saw the common causes of cancer, the best way to reduce the risk can be by,

  1. A healthy diet containing nutritious and organic food
  2. Eating only the right quantity the body requires
  3. Avoiding BPA – toxins found in plastic
  4. Reducing the exposure to UV rays


  1. Cancer statistics 2018,
  2. Medical College of Georgia. “Relationship Between Environmental Stress And Cancer Elucidated.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 November 2007.