The National Cancer Institute reports that in 2016, an estimated 1,685,210 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States and over 595,000 will affect from the disease. There are many things from environmental factors to lifestyle choices that put individuals at risk of cancer and while many people have learned to avoid contact with obvious risk factors, there may be an equal amount of seemingly normal, everyday things that can continue to put us at risk of cancer. Here are some risk factors and causes of cancer that may surprise.
Causes of cancer, Is Your Everyday Life Putting You at Risk of Cancer?
Home or Office
There are numerous dangers and causes of cancer that may lurk in our homes or workplaces, but it’s rare that we think either place could put us at risk for cancer. If you live in a home or work in a building that was constructed prior to 1980, you could be at risk for developing mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive form of lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Materials used in building construction, such as insulation, roofing shingles, and linings around HVAC fixtures, often contained asbestos for it’s heat resistant and fireproof properties.
Asbestos is generally considered less of a threat if it’s in good condition, but once it is manipulated or begins to break down, the fibers are released in the air and can be ingested by unsuspecting individuals, thus increasing the risk of mesothelioma. It’s best to avoid direct contact with materials that contain asbestos and be aware of any materials in your home or workplace.
Air Fresheners : A risk of cancer?
Speaking of your home, do you love the “smell” of fresh dried linen or a crisp, tart apple? If so, you’re not alone. Millions of homeowners enjoy the convenience and long lasting effect of their favorite scent in the form of a plug in air freshener. Studies have found that the chemicals used to replicate a field of lavender or a fresh baked sugar cookie can be causes of cancer of liver and kidney cancer, as well as affect the reproductive system. If you want to keep your home smelling fresh, check out a non-toxic air freshener or concoct own potpourri using cinnamon sticks or dried orange peel.
Working the Night Shift, Stress one of important causes of cancer.
Everyone knows that work can cause stress, which can eventually make you sick, but who knew that the shift you work could put you at risk for cancer? Studies reveal that women who work an overnight shift are at a greater risk for breast cancer than women who work during the day. While it is unclear as to why being a night owl puts women at greater risk, one theory is the disruption of the circadian system.
Keep Alcohol in Moderation
For years, health experts have gone back and forth on their stance about alcohol. While drinking wine has been known to benefit cardiovascular health, don’t raise a glass just yet. Research suggests that even a few drinks a day may benefit other aspects of your health, but increase your risk of certain cancers such as breast, esophageal, colorectal, and liver. While you don’t need to sacrifice a glass of your favorite cab, be mindful of your moderation (about a glass and a half).
Beauty Products safe enough to keep away from cancer?
Beauty products, from makeup and nail polish to toothpaste and deodorant, are part of our everyday lives and we use these types of products so often that we probably think twice about what ingredients may be actually causes of cancer which causing harm. As consumers of cosmetics and other grooming products, it’s likely we have a favorite that we’ve purchased and used loyally for years or even decades (think of the latest cancer scare in talcum powder). While it’s natural to want a signature scent or even a trademark lip color, your extensive usage may be harming health and can be causes of cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society, although a majority of cosmetics are tested for safety, they are not necessarily strictly regulated and may still contain potentially dangerous chemicals that may contribute to cancer and be causes of cancer, such as formaldehyde or benzene. It’s best to read the label (even products that claim to be organic) and even consider going “au naturel”.
Research has shown that eating the right foods, particularly a diet rich in “cancer fighting foods”, can reduce your risk of certain cancers and may improve your overall health, but what about the foods that can increase your risk? While red meat, processed meats, and other foods have been accused of causing or increasing your likelihood of cancer, the way you prepare your food can increase your risk as well. Are you easily distracted in the kitchen to the point that you burn your food or do you just like your food well done? You may want to rethink your culinary skills.
According to a study by the Food Standards Agency (FSA), when you burn foods rich in carbohydrates (such as potatoes and bread) you can increase the levels of a toxin called acrylamide and as a result, increase your risk of developing cancer. Go for lightly toasted rather than charred.
As you would with all other that put you at risk for cancer, pay attention to and avoid your exposure, visit your doctor annually, and get any of the recommended cancer screenings.
Donna Fitzgerald is an avid reader and writer, who enjoys living along the coast of North Carolina. Entertained by her loving daughters, Donna stays active within her neighborhood, and is passionate about health and family wellness. In her free time, you can find Donna curled up reading her favorite novel, or writing in her journal.