The answer is more complicated than just "yes"
or "no", and most often it's really difficult
to tell exactly where cancer comes from. If
someone sunbathes for too long without any
sunblock and gets a really bad burn, they are more
likely to get skin cancer. But maybe they also
have a bad diet. Or maybe they are overweight. All
of these could increase the chance of getting
cancer, and researchers call these lifestyle
choices and habits that increase the chance of
getting cancer "risk factors".
Some risk factors just can't be prevented. Age,
for example, is a risk factor. People older than
55 years old make up the majority of new cancer
patients. But you can't really change your age.
Bad habits like poor diet, habitual smoking &
drinking, and excessive tanning are other risk
factors. These are risk factors that you can
prevent. Someone who wants to live a healthy life
can avoid smoking, maintain a healthy bodyweight,
exercise often, drink alcohol responsibly, wear
sunblock, and eat a balanced diet.
There are very few cancers that are linked to
genetics. Most cancers are not hereditary. Some
estimate that 5-10% (which is still very low) of
cancers are inherited. Others say an even lower
amount, maybe 2-3%, of new cancers diagnosed are
passed down from family members.
Even if a family member does develop a cancer
that is hereditary, other family members may not
get it. It would increase the risk for those other
family members, but it is just another risk
factor. The best thing to do would be to talk to a
medical professional. That person can look at
family history, symptoms, and all of the other
risk factors and can better decide what the next
steps for that person should be. The doctor might
suggest good lifestyle habits to develop or might
schedule regular check-ups to catch the cancer in
early stages. If you are just looking for more
information, hopefully this got you on the right
track. If you are worried about your own risks, it
would be good to talk to a doctor about it. They
will definitely have good advice.
Click Here to return to the search form.