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Cancer Causes And Prevention Essay

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Around 1 in 2 American men and 1 in 3 American women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime (American Cancer Society, 2013, p. 1) , and over 500,000 die each year from various forms. (American Cancer Society, 2013, p. 1) In 2013, an estimated 1,660,290 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed. While cancer is currently incurable, there are ways to lower your risk of developing cancer through good nutrition, and lifestyle choices.

What we think of as “cancer” is actually a collection of diseases, each affecting different organs in different ways, although the primary indicator is malignant growths. Cancer begins when a cell mutates and begins to grow abnormally into a tumor. This tumor can metastasize and spread to other regions of the body, and eventually the body’s innate defenses can no longer fight the disease.

Cancer can be caused by a variety of factors. Many cancers have a genetic component; around 5% of all cancers are “strongly hereditary, in that an inherited genetic alteration confers a very high risk of developing one or more specific types of cancer.” (American Cancer Society, 2013, p. 1) Carcinogenic substances can cause cancer if a person comes into contact with them. Some examples of these substances are the chemical benzene, the mineral asbestos, and physical objects like x-rays and ultraviolet light. (American Cancer Society, 2013, p. 47) The chemicals in cancer are well known to cause cancer; “smoking accounts for at least 30% of all cancer deaths and 87% of lung cancer deaths...

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