What causes cancer? Top 8 Causes of Cancer

What causes cancer? There are more than 100 different types of cancer, each of which has particular causes and characteristics, with a different evolution, prognosis and treatment.

Advances in the early diagnosis of several of these tumors, combined with the improvement of oncological treatments and natural treatments; have made possible that in recent years to reduced the mortality rate for this disease in many countries considerably. However, every year the number of cases detected continues to increase.

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What Causes Cancer?


Certain factors are capable of causing cancer in a percentage of individuals exposed to them. These include inheritance, chemicals, ionizing radiations, infections or viruses, and traumas. The researchers study how these different factors can interact in a multifactorial and sequential way to produce malignant tumors. So, the cancer is, in essence, a genetic process.

 

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#1- Heritage


The first of the reasons that causes cancer in this top is heritage. It is estimate that 5% to 10% of cancers have a hereditary origin. Some forms of cancer are more common in some families: breast cancer is an example of this. Colon cancer is more common in families with a tendency to develop colon polyps. One form of retinoblastoma only appears when a specific gene is absent. These genes, called tumor suppressor genes or antioncogenes, prevent normal cell replication. Its absence eliminates the normal control of cell multiplication. In some hereditary disorders, the chromosomes have an intrinsic fragility; these processes carry a high risk of cancer.

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A research published in 2014 found that an abnormal PALB2 gene increases breast cancer risk 5 to 9 times higher than average, almost as high as an abnormal BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene. Women with an abnormal PALB2 gene have a 33% to 58% lifetime risk of developing breast cancer. In comparison, women with an abnormal BRCA1 gene have a 50% to 70% risk of developing breast cancer by age 70. Women with an abnormal BRCA2 gene have a 40% to 60% risk of developing breast cancer by age 70.

 #2- Chemical substances


Coal tar and its derivatives are highly carcinogenic. Their vapors in some industries are associated with the high incidence of lung cancer among workers. It is now known that benzo(a)pyrene, a chemical found in coal, causes cancer. An example of this is skin cancer in people whose jobs are related to the burning of coal.

Arsenic is associated with lung cancer, as workers in copper and cobalt mines; so, foundries and factories of insecticides have an incidence of this type of cancer greater than normal. Also, in workers in the industries related to asbestos, the incidence is up to 10 times more than normal.

A substance that is product of  the fungus Aspergillus flavus, (aflatoxin), which contaminates poorly preserved foods, causes liver cancer in some animals. It has been found that in countries where mold contamination is common, the incidence of liver and stomach cancer is high.
- Cigarette

The cigarette is another carcinogen, it has been determined that death from lung cancer is 6 times higher among smokers than non-smokers. The cigarette is so pernicious because of the substances it contains nicotine, acids and oxides of carbon and tar.

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Also, alcohol is a direct cause of seven forms of cancer. So, yes, there are tough words to swallow, but those are the conclusions of researchers from New Zealand; who say they found that no matter how much you drink, alcohol will increase your risk of cancer.

A study published in the scientific journal Addiction, said that there are a causal association of alcohol consumption and cancers of the oropharynx; larynx, esophagus, liver, colon, rectum, and female breast. Jennie Connor, from the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago, said that based on current evidence; there is no safe level of drinking; with respect to cancer though the risks are lower for some cancers when people stop drinking.

 #3- Radiation


Ionizing radiation is one of the most recognized causal factors. Radiation produces changes in DNA, such as breaks or chromosomal transpositions in which broken strands of two chromosomes can be interchanged. Radiation acts as an initiator of carcinogenesis, inducing alterations that progress to cancer after a latency period of several years. The sun's ultraviolet rays and x-rays increase the propensity to get skin cancer and leukemia. Excessive exposure to sunlight by people with white skin increases the risk.

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#4- Infections or viruses


There is increasing evidence that some infections can lead to cancer, and especially those related to cancers of the stomach, liver, cervix and Kaposi's sarcoma (a special type of cancer that appears in AIDS patients). Helicobacter pylori bacteria have been linked to stomach cancer. Different studies show that people infected with this bacteria are four times more likely to develop this type of cancer.

Viruses causes cancer in animals. In humans, Epstein-Barr virus is associated with Burkitt's lymphoma and lymphoma epitheliomas, hepatitis virus with hepatocarcinoma, and herpesvirus type II or genital herpes virus with carcinoma of the cervix. All these viruses associated with human tumors are of the DNA type. The HTLV virus, however, is of the RNA type, or retrovirus, as most of the virus associated with tumors in animals. It produces human leukemia.

 

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In the presence of an enzyme called reverse transcriptase; it induces the infect cell to produce DNA copies of the virus genes, which in this way are add into the cellular genome. These RNA viruses contain a gene that is call a viral oncogene; capable of transforming normal cells into malignant cells. Research has shown that viral oncogenes have a counterpart in normal human cells; it is the proto-oncogene, or cellular oncogene. The products of oncogenes (the proteins they produce) are growth factors (or proteins necessary for the action of such growth factors); which stimulate the growth of tumor cells.

 
- Human Papilloma Viruses

Other viruses that causes cancer are HPVs. Human papilloma viruses (HPVs) are a group of more than 150 related viruses. Their name is because some of them cause papillomas or warts. Some types of HPV only grow in skin, while others grow in mucous membranes such as the mouth, throat, or vagina.

All types of HPV are spread by contact (touch). More than 40 types of HPV can be pass on through sexual contact. Most sexually active people are infect with one or more of these HPV types at some point in their lives. At least a dozen of these types are known to cause cancer.

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In fact, researches said that, throat cancers caused by HPVs transmitted during oral sex have increased significantly in the United States in recent years. In the study published in The Journal of Clinical Oncology, researchers tested tumor samples from 271 patients with certain types of throat cancer diagnosed from 1984 to 2004. The virus was found in only 16 percent of the samples from the 1980s — but in 72 percent of those collected after 2000.

The researchers estimated that over all; throat cancers caused by the virus have increased to 2.6 per 100,000 people in 2004 from 0.8 cases per 100,000 people in 1988. If the trend continues, by 2020 the virus will be causing more throat cancer than cervical cancer, the study concluded.

 

#5- Traumas


The relationship between trauma (external physical injury) and the appearance of a cancer in the area of the trauma is often difficult to establish. There are a variety of opinions that hinge on whether the trauma is single, multiple, or continuing; whether the opinion is in the legal arena rather than purely medical speculation or opinion; and if the trauma caused the cancer or if the growth of the cancer was accelerated by the trauma. The scientific evidence may be sparse; but there are instances where logic may associate the traumatic event with acceleration of the cancerous growth or the spread of an existing cancer.

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For example, the mechanical irritation on a portion of the skin and the friction on moles it can be harmful. Lip cancer in pipe smokers is link with chronic irritation cause by the pipe over a group of cells in the lip. In India, a high incidence of cancer of the abdomen and groin is relate to clothing of very general use.

 

#6- Aging


Aging is another key factor that causes cancer. The incidence of this disease increases dramatically with age; so most likely because of the accumulation of risk factors for certain types of cancer. The general accumulation of risk factors is combined with the loss of efficacy of the cellular repair mechanisms that usually occur with age.

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#7- Malnourishment


The link between food and cancer risk is complex and not easy to establish, mainly because our diet contains very varied products. However, some years ago, scientifically validated studies have established relationships between the type of food we eat and the development of cancer.

Photo credit: Pexels



In 1984, the US National Cancer Institute found that 35% of malignancies originate or are related to food factors. That is more than the 20% of the risk of cancer that produces tobacco. This is how experts place food as one of the most important tumor risk factors within environmental and preventable factors. In general, processed foods, sodas, high calories diets, along with some forms of cooking like fried, barbecued and smoked.

 

#8- Stress


A researcher at the National Cancer Institute indicates that there is a relationship between stress and cancer. The explanation provided is that stress and distressing situations attack the body causing physical illnesses. This aggression is interpreted by the organism and its response to defend itself is by producing the cells suitable for it in a disorderly way.

Photo credit: Pexels



Stress influences cancer so much that it increases the risk of cancer of the healthy people and reduces the survival rates of the people who have already developed it. When stressed, cortisol and adrenaline are released which at the same time, help in the excretion of inflammatory substances into the sympathetic nervous system and block the NK cells (Natural Killer Cells), thus favoring the onset of cancer.

As you can see, there are several reasons that causes cancer. However, you can prevent cancer by just changing a few things in your lifestyle.

Please help us spread the message for a healthier world. If you liked this post, we invite you to share it in all your social networks. Also, if you have any questions, leave us a comment in the comment section below.

Summary


Key Takeaways



  • What causes cancer? There are more than 100 different types of cancer; each of which has particular causes and characteristics, with a different evolution, prognosis and treatment.

  • Advances in the early diagnosis of several of these tumors, combined with the improvement of oncological treatments and natural treatments; have made possible that in recent years to reduced the mortality rate for this disease in many countries considerably. However, every year the number of cases detected continues to increase.


What Causes Cancer?



  • Certain factors are capable of causing cancer in a percentage of individuals exposed to them. These include inheritance, chemicals, ionizing radiations, infections or viruses, and traumas.

  • The researchers study how these different factors can interact in a multifactorial and sequential way to produce malignant tumors. The cancer is, in essence, a genetic process. Genetic alterations can be inherited, or produced in some cell by a virus or by an injury caused externally.


#1- Heritage



  • The first of the reasons that causes cancer in this top is heritage. It is estimated that 5% to 10% of cancers have a hereditary origin. Some forms of cancer are more common in some families: breast cancer is an example of this. Colon cancer is more common in families with a tendency to develop colon polyps. One form of retinoblastoma only appears when a specific gene is absent.

  • These genes, called tumor suppressor genes or antioncogenes, prevent normal cell replication. Its absence eliminates the normal control of cell multiplication. In some hereditary disorders, the chromosomes have an intrinsic fragility; these processes carry a high risk of cancer.

  • A research published in 2014 found that an abnormal PALB2 gene increases breast cancer risk 5 to 9 times higher than average, almost as high as an abnormal BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene.

  • Women with an abnormal PALB2 gene have a 33% to 58% lifetime risk of developing breast cancer. In comparison, women with an abnormal BRCA1 gene have a 50% to 70% risk of developing breast cancer by age 70. Women with an abnormal BRCA2 gene have a 40% to 60% risk of developing breast cancer by age 70. (see full study)


#2- Chemical substances



  • Coal tar and its derivatives are considere highly carcinogenic. Their vapors in some industries are associate with the high incidence of lung cancer among workers. It is now know that benzo(a)pyrene, a chemical found in coal, causes cancer. An example of this is the develop of skin cancer in people whose jobs are relate to the burning of coal. (See full study)

  • Arsenic is associated with lung cancer; as workers in copper and cobalt mines, foundries and factories of insecticides have an incidence of this type of cancer greater than normal. Also, in workers in the industries related to asbestos, the incidence is up to 10 times more than normal.

  • A substance produced by the fungus Aspergillus flavus, called aflatoxin, which contaminates poorly preserved foods; causes liver cancer in some animals. Also, it has been found that in countries where mold contamination is common, the incidence of liver and stomach cancer is high. (see full study)


Cigarette and Alcohol



  • The cigarette is another carcinogen; So, it has been show that death from lung cancer is 6 times higher among smokers than non-smokers. Then, the cigarette is so pernicious because of the substances it contains; Nicotine, acids and oxides of carbon and tar.

  • Also, alcohol is a direct cause of seven forms of cancer. Tough words to swallow, but those are the conclusions of researchers from New Zealand, who say they found that no matter how much you drink, alcohol will increase your risk of cancer.

  • A study published in the scientific journal Addiction; said that there are a causal association of alcohol consumption and cancers of the oropharynx, larynx, esophagus, liver, colon, rectum, and female breast. (see full study)


#3- Radiation



  • Ionizing radiation is one of the most recognize causal factors. Radiation acts as an initiator of carcinogenesis, inducing alterations that progress to cancer after a latency period of several years. The sun's ultraviolet rays and x-rays increase the propensity to get skin cancer and leukemia. Excessive exposure to sunlight by people with white skin increases the risk. (see full study)


#4- Infections or viruses



  • There is increasing evidence that some infections can lead to cancer; and especially those related to cancers of the stomach, liver, cervix and Kaposi's sarcoma (a special type of cancer that appears in AIDS patients). Helicobacter pylori bacteria have been link to stomach cancer. Different studies show that people infected with this bacteria are four times more likely to develop this type of cancer. (see full study)

  • Research has shown that viral oncogenes have a counterpart in normal human cells: it is the proto-oncogene, or cellular oncogene. The products of oncogenes (the proteins they produce) are growth factors (or proteins necessary for the action of such growth factors), which stimulate the growth of tumor cells. (see full study)


Human papilloma viruses



  • Other viruses that causes cancer are HPVs. So, Human papilloma viruses (HPVs) are a group of more than 150 related viruses. So, their name is because some of them cause papillomas, or warts. Also, some types of HPV only grow in skin, while others grow in mucous membranes such as the mouth, throat, or vagina.

  • In fact, researchers said that; throat cancers caused by HPVs transmitted during oral sex have increased significantly in the United States in recent years. In the study published in The Journal of Clinical Oncology; researchers tested tumor samples from 271 patients with certain types of throat cancer diagnosed from 1984 to 2004. The virus was found in only 16 percent of the samples from the 1980s — but in 72 percent of those collected after 2000. (see full study)


#5- Traumas



  • The mechanical irritation produce on a portion of the skin and the friction exert on moles is considere to be harmful. Lip cancer in pipe smokers are link with chronic irritation cause by the pipe over a group of cells in the lip. In India, a high incidence of cancer of the abdomen and groin is relate to clothing of very general use.


#6- Aging



  • Aging is another key factor that causes cancer. The incidence of this disease increases dramatically with age; most likely because of the accumulation of risk factors for certain types of cancer. So, the general accumulation of risk factors, plus the combination of the loss of efficacy of the cellular repair mechanisms that usually occur with age, thats what causes cancer.


#7- Malnourishment



  • Some years ago, scientifically validated studies; have established relationships between the type of food we eat and the development of cancer. (see full study)

  • In 1984, the US National Cancer Institute found that 35% of malignancies originate or are relate to food factors. So, that is more than the 20% of the risk of cancer that produces tobacco. This is how experts place food as one of the most important tumor risk factors within environmental and preventable factors. In general, processed foods, sodas, high calories diets, along with some forms of cooking like fried, barbecued and smoked. (see full study)


#8- Stress



  • A researcher at the National Cancer Institute indicates that there is a relationship between stress and cancer. The explanation provided is that stress and distressing situations attack the body causing physical illnesses. This aggression is read by the organism and its response to defend itself is by producing the cells suitable for it in a disorderly way. (see full study)



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