Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Cancer- increased risks

  1. Aug 22, 2005 #1
    Whats been known to increase a person's risk of getting cancer?

    I know a person's genetics have been shown to increase a person's risk of getting cancer
    I know certain foods have been shown to increase a person's risk of getting cancer
    I know (Obviously) smoking has been shown to increase a person's risk of getting cancer
    and I know sun exposure has been shown to increase a person's risk of getting cancer

    But what else has? I was just wondering because my friend has a family history of cancer and I wanted to talk to her about what she can do to lower her risks

  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 22, 2005 #2
    How great is your friend's risk of cancer? Does she know she is at such high risk? Sometimes not even knowing you are at risk can increase the chances of getting it because you aren't taking the precautions to lower your risk. I'll look up some other risk factors.

  4. Aug 22, 2005 #3
    She knows she's high risk because of her family history but i don't think she's gone to a doctor or anything about it; (She pretty much grew up living with her grandma) I let her know that she could get tested for genetic markers and stuff though.

    But I don't think she knows the precautions that she can take to lower her risk, that's why I was asking about them

  5. Aug 22, 2005 #4
    Ah, well at least she knows that she is at risk.

  6. Aug 22, 2005 #5
    Exposure to kitchen fumes. Low IQ. Poor antioxidant status.
  7. Aug 22, 2005 #6
    I think the largest cancer risk that you haven't mentioned is radon.
  8. Aug 22, 2005 #7
    what type of cancer? different types of cancer have different causes and risk factors. Excessive sun exposure increases the risk of skin cancer, but not other forms of cancer. Smoking and high radon concentrations (usually only a problem in poorly ventilated houses with basements or on slab) increases the risk of lung cancer.

    Genetics and family history can put a person at higher risk for some cancers while risk factors for other cancers are mainly environmental, with little or no genetic component.

    If it's really an issue of concern for your friend, the best advice would be to have her express her concerns to her family physician and perhaps see about getting a referral to an oncologist or genetic counsellor for a more thorough assessment.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2005
  9. Sep 2, 2005 #8
    There are some new and very interesting facts about smoking and cancer. Did you know that tobacco is actually radioactive.
    There is something called Polonium 210, It is an alpha radiation that is found in the soil used to grow tobacco. In fact it is from the phoshate fertilizers used. Alpha radiation is different to nornal radiation in that it cannot pass through skin or even paper BUT when brought into contact with live tissue it creates what are called 'Hot Spots.' They are like open wounds that will not heal and as you smoke these wounds are attacked by the chemicals in tobacco smoked inhaled into the lungs.
    The Polonium 210 deposited in the average "pack a day" smoker, which has a half life of 158+ days (that means half of it's mass is converted into lead, and the radioactive emissions are delivered directly to your lungs), delivers enough radiation as it decays; to be equal to the amount of radiation you'd get if you had between 300 and 8000 Chest X-Rays per year.

    Not only that but this bears direct relation to the increase in lung cancer rates since the Clacium Phosphate fertilizers were introduced. Lung cancer rates among men kept climbing from a rarity in 1930 (4/100,000 per year) to the No. 1 cancer killer in 1980 (72/100,000) in spite of an almost 20 percent reduction in smoking. But during the same period, the level of polonium 210 in American tobacco had tripled. This coincided with the increase in the use of phosphate fertilizers by tobacco growers.

    However smoking also attributes in another way. To be able to smoke and not cough and be sick everytime your immune system has to shut down. By shutting down it is unable to alert you to the change in cell structure in your body. This is one of the fundemental functions of the imune system. An early warning system. What happens is that by the time the body realises something is wrong it is usualy quite far advnaced. If however you were a nonsmoker the imune system would alert you much earlier giving you optimum chance if recovery.

    The Surgeon General C. Everett Koop stated that radioactivity, rather than tar, accounts for at least 90% of all smoking-related lung cancers.

    The sad thing is that the tobacco companies know this but still continue to advocate phosphate fertilizers by tobacco growers.

Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?

Similar Discussions: Cancer- increased risks
  1. Breast cancer. (Replies: 4)

  2. Cancer and the sexes (Replies: 4)

  3. Plant cancer (Replies: 2)