Although cancer is one of the most common diseases in the world, there are a lot of myths and rumors floating around about the disease, which makes it extremely hard to know what to believe. That’s why we’ve tried to answer some of the most common questions that people ask about cancer.
How Common Is the Incidence of Cancer?
In the U.S., about one-third of all people are likely to develop cancer at some point in their lifetimes. But, the risk of developing many types of cancer can be reduced substantially by making changes in our lifestyle, like staying away from tobacco, limiting time spent out in the sun, being healthy, avoiding alcohol, and eating healthy foods. You can also take screening tests that can help your healthcare provider find the disease in its early stages.
Who Gets Diagnosed with Cancer?
Pretty much anyone can be diagnosed with cancer, at any given age but the risk goes up significantly as you age. A significant number of people who are diagnosed with the disease are 50 years or older. Cancer can occur in people of all ethnic and racial groups, but the rate at which it occurs varies from one group to another.
What Causes Cancer?
Some types of cancer are caused by things people expose themselves to or the things they do. For instance, smoking cigarettes can increase your chances of developing cancer of the mouth, throat, lungs, bladder, kidneys, etc. Of course, not every individual who smokes will get cancer, but it increases their chances of developing the disease significantly. Similarly, people who spend a significant amount of time in the sun, without protecting their skin, can develop skin cancer or melanoma.
Exposure to certain types of radiation can also increase your chances of developing cancer. For instance, people who have been exposed to a nuclear fallout have a higher risk of developing cancer than those who have not been exposed to it. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should not go in for scans and x-rays, because these devices use the lowest possible amounts of radiation.