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Cancer Treatment - Costa Rica Newlook
Cancer Treatment

Cancer Causes Costa Rica

About 80% of cancers are considered sporadic, meaning that there is no clear cause. For some reason, certain normal genes begin to mutate (change), multiplying rapidly and becoming malignant. Other factors are environmental influences that may cause these gene mutations to occur.

Environmental causes of cancer include:

  • Age: cancer is most common among people over the age of 50
  • Diet: high-fat, high-cholesterol diets are proven risk factors for several types of cancer, particularly colon cancer
  • Obesity: although no clear link has been established, research indicates obesity may be a contributing factor to some cancers
  • Cigarettes greatly increase the lung cancer risk, even among non-smokers forced to inhale secondhand smoke. Other tobacco products, like pipes and chewing tobacco, are linked to cancers of the mouth, tongue and throat
  • Long-term exposure to chemicals like asbestos, radon and benzene
  • Exposure to high levels of radiation
  • Harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun are directly linked to melanoma and other forms of skin cancer
  • Some viruses, including hepatitis B and C, human papillomaviruses (HPV), and the Epstein-Barr virus, which causes infectious mononucleosis, have been associated with increased cancer risk
  • Immune system diseases, like AIDS, can make one more susceptible to some cancers

The other 20% of cancers are hereditary. This means that the abnormal gene responsible for causing the cancer is passed from parent to child, posing a greater risk for that type of cancer in all descendants of the family. However, just because someone has a cancer-causing gene doesn't mean they will automatically get cancer. If hereditary cancer is suspected, family members should consider genetic counseling and testing to determine their risk. Regular cancer screenings are recommended for high-risk families so that if cancer does occur, it will be diagnosed in the early stages, when it's most responsive to treatment.