Cancer refers to the diseases caused by abnormal division of cells that later attack other body tissues. Cancer cells normally spread to other body parts through the lymph and blood system. There are over 100 different cancer types and most of them are named as per the type of cell or organ where they originate. Untreated cancer can cause severe illness and even lead to death. Cancer is among the leading causes of death and about two-thirds of cancer cases are caused by environmental factors. Environmental causes of cancer are those factors in the surroundings that contribute to cancer development.

In order to answer the question what causes cancer, it is vital to know that these factors can be both external as well as personal. External environmental causes of cancer identify those environmental pollutants, which increase the cancer risk. Over 85 percent of cancers cases arise owing to lifestyle preferences individuals make placing them at high risks of developing cancer. For instance, tobacco causes over 30 percent cancer deaths. The risk of developing cancer due to environmental factors is incomparable. Ultra violet rays from the sun, sunlamps and tanning beds cause different skin cancer types such as melanoma. Various environmental causes of cancer amount from people’s way of life and exposure to agents found in the water or air.

Over years, epidemiologists have estimated the new cancer cases and death percentages caused by environmental agents. For instance, about 30% cancer deaths are attributed to tobacco. Other cancer cases are caused by water and air pollution, occupations, medical procedures and medicine. When establishing what environmental factors cause cancer, it is important to bear in mind some of these environmental factors. Another environmental cause of cancer is ionizing radiation. Exposure to radiation from sources like radon, cosmic rays, atomic bombs, nuclear bomb tests done on the ground and X-ray is a cause of cancer.

Carcinogens identify substances believed to increase the risk of developing cancer. To make out what causes cancer, bear in mind environmental carcinogens. In some instances, carcinogens damage the DNA directly while in some, the cause is indirect. This explains why not each exposure to a carcinogen leads to cancer. The extent and intensity of exposure to ecological carcinogens determines the chances of developing cancer. Some ecological carcinogens include chemicals, infectious agents, and air pollution. Exposure to particular chemicals, parasites, and bacteria are known risk factors for various cancer types.

In general, major environmental causes of cancer are linked to the external and personal environment. The external environment elements causing cancer include environmental pollutants, radiation and sun exposure among others. An individual’s personal environment inclusive of lifestyle choices like tobacco, diet and nutrition are also a risk factor.

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