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What Causes Cancer? Here Are 11 Unexpected Things

What causes cancer? While we definitely don’t know everything that can trigger this disease, what is clear is that more people are dealing with this disease. According to the National Cancer Institute, approximately 39.6 percent of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives. (1) Previous research shows that genetics account for only about half of all cancers, suggesting environmental exposures and socioeconomic factors may also play a role. Cancer has quickly risen to one of the leading causes of death, but knowing your risk can help you avoid this devastating diagnosis.

Obesity, poor diet, hormonal imbalance and chronic inflammation are all well-known causes of cancer. But some cancer-causers aren’t so obvious. What if I told you that daily exposures and seemingly harmless habits could actually increase your risk of cancer? Here are some of the most surprising things linked to cancer …

What Causes Cancer? Here Are Unexpected Cancer Causers

1. Where you live. A 2017 study published in the journal Cancer found that in the United States, counties with the poorest quality air, water, land, built environment, and sociodemographic factors face increased incidence of cancer. Poor air quality and the built environment (presence of major highways, availability of public transit and housing) correlated most strongly with high cancer rates. These findings applied to both men and women, with prostate and breast cancer most strongly associated with poor environment. (2) Other research tells us that minority neighborhoods face a higher risk of cancer due to air pollution. (3)

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