9 Proven Risk Factors for Cancer

Almost everyone is worried about cancer these days.  While you can’t eliminate all risk factors for the disease, most are changeable.  Here are nine proven risk factors for cancer, according to Cancer: Prevention and Politics:

Age. Most cancers strike over the age of 45.  That doesn’t mean you’re immune if you’re younger than that, but it does mean as you age you should make sure to improve the factors you can change.

Bad habitssmoking (increases lung cancer), excessive alcohol consumption has been linked with cancer, using illicit drugs also plays a role in some types of cancer.

Geographical location. Industrialized countries have much higher rates of certain cancers than undeveloped countries. However, it is believed that environmental factors such as lifestyle, culture, diet, water, and air quality may play roles in cancers linked by geographical region.

Diet. High fat intake is linked to breast, colon, ovarian, kidney, lung, and endometrial cancers; low fiber intake is linked to higher rates of colon cancer; increased phytoestrogen intake may be linked with lower rates of breast cancer.

Keep reading to learn which types of cancer are linked to HIGHER income…

High levels of estrogen can be a marker for increased risk of reproductive cancers, such as breast and endometrial.

Lack of exercise. Sedentary life is linked with higher rates of many cancers.  Fortunately, becoming more active is an easy fix for most people.

Genetics. Most people think that genetics is the primary risk factor for cancer but family history and DNA is only one factor.  Newer research is showing that lifestyle and diet may play a role in switching on cancer genes.  So, this risk factor can still be moderated.

Income. Lower income is linked to higher rates of stomach cancer, lung cancer (in men), cervical cancer (in women), and cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, and esophagus; while higher income is linked to higher incidence of skin cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer (in men).  Who knew that being middle class was such a great thing?

Education. Lower levels of education are linked to higher incidence of cancer and tend to have less access to cancer prevention information.  You don’t have to go back to school to mitigate this risk factor.  Researchers believe that many educated people are simply more likely to follow health news that leads to healthier lifestyle choices.  (Keep following health info on Care2 and subscribe to my free e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News for lots of great health tips).


10 Cancer-Causers to Remove From Your Home
Top 10 Foods That Increase Cancer Risk


Jeanne Rogers
Jeanne Rogersabout a month ago

Thank you for sharing.

Jeanne Rogers
Jeanne Rogersabout a month ago

Thank you for sharing.

Elizabeth Brawn
Elizabeth Brawn2 years ago


N M.
N M2 years ago


Heather M
Heather Marv3 years ago

Good info thanks.

Winn Adams
Winn Adams3 years ago


Elena T.
Elena Poensgen3 years ago

Thank you :)

Jeanne Rogers
Jeanne Rogers3 years ago

Interesting info. Thank you.

Wendy G.
Wendy G3 years ago

That's a bit of a sobering list to wake up to. Really is there anything out there that doesn't cause cancer these days?

Fi T.
Fi T3 years ago

Lifestyle is the key