60+ Interesting Facts About Cancer

  1. In contrast to several other diseases, cancer is mainly caused by environmental factors. Inherited genetics plays a role of only 5% to 10% in causing cancers. (Source)
  2. Cancer is the 2nd leading cause of death in the world after cardiovascular diseases. One in six deaths worldwide occur due to various cancers. Most of these deaths are among people aged 70 and above. (Source)
  3. Around 50% of all cancer cases are preventable. These preventable cancers are caused by tobacco, alcohol, physical inactivity, infections, environmental pollution, radiation, and occupational carcinogens. (Source)
  4. Height is directly proportional to cancer. Dangers of skin and breast cancers increase with an increase in height in both men and women. The cancer risks increases by 18% in women and 11% in men for every extra 4 inches of height. (Source
  5. The dwarf community in Ecuador is free of cancer and diabetes. The average height of these people is only 4 feet. (Source)
  6. A study shows that eating dinner two hours before sleep reduces risks of prostate and breast cancers in men and women, respectively. (Source)
  7. There are nearly 250 harmful chemicals in tobacco. At least 69 of these can cause cancer. These include arsenic, benzene, cadmium, and several others. (Source)
  8. In the US alone, more than 7,300 non-smokers die yearly from lung cancer due to secondhand smoke. (Source)
  9. Cigarette smoking is the cause of more than half of the deaths related to cancers of the lung, larynx, throat, esophagus, and bladder.
  10. Higher physical activity reduces the risk of at least three types of cancers: colon, breast, and endometrial (the lining of the uterus). The latest studies prove that regular exercise can minimize the risks of 10 other types of cancers. (Source)
  11. Cancer was initially described by Ancient Egyptians in 3000 BC. The origin of the word cancer is carcinos and carcinoma, terms used by the Greek physician Hippocrates (460-370 BC). (Source)
  12. The rate of cancer in Ancient Egypt was 5 cases in 1,000 persons. Today, it is 500 per 1,000 people in Western societies. (Source)
  13. Cancers can be caused by a few viruses and bacteria. However, these germs cannot spread this disease to other people. Cancers can only be transmitted from one to another person through organ or tissue transplantation. (Source)
  14. Some infections can cause cancers. These include EBV, some parasites, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV. (Source
  15. HPV is a sexually transmitted virus. This virus can cause cancers related to the anal, cervical, vagina, vulva, penile and oropharyngeal. (Source
  16. HIV is known for causing AIDS. Moreover, this dangerous virus can also trigger three types of cancers in humans. (Source)
  17. Few bacteria also cause cancer. The most well-known is H pylori, which causes stomach cancer. Apart from that, Chlamydia also plays a vital role in triggering cancers related to the female reproductive system. (Source)
  18. Recent research shows that a particular bacteria on human skin can protect against skin cancer without damaging healthy cells. (Source)
    Specific bacteria on skin protects against skin cancer

  19. There are more than 100 types and sub-types of cancers. These cancers can affect any part of the body. (Source)
  20. Many factors increase the risk of cancer. These include aging, family history of cancer, tobacco, alcohol, sun and radiation exposure, few viruses and bacteria, certain hormones, obesity, etc.
  21. Lung cancer is the 2nd most common cancer worldwide and causes the highest number of deaths. Cancers related to breast, stomach, and colon and rectum also have high prevalence and death rates. (Source)
  22. A gene in the Y chromosome (present only in males) has the potential to provide additional protection against aggressive leukemia (blood cancer). (Source)
  23. Unmarried men have 40% more chances of dying from prostate cancer than married men. Also, the 5-year survival rate of married men with prostate cancer is 89.1% compared to 80.5% for unmarried men. (Source)
  24. Regular night shift by women, especially nurses, increases the risk of breast and skin cancers. Breast cancer is especially prominent in European and North American populations. (Source)
  25. A study finds that all types of hormonal birth control measures increase breast cancer risk slightly. This risk level is the same in modern contraceptives (that use different hormones in lower quantities) and older ones. (Source)
  26. Alcohol consumption increases the risk of at least seven types of cancers. These include the liver, colon & rectum, esophagus, larynx (voice box), pharynx (throat), mouth, and breast. (Source)
  27. Skin exposure to a high intensity of ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or sunbeds is the primary cause of skin cancer.
  28. The process of refining mineral oils (prepared from crude petroleum oil) is necessary before their usage. The untreated or mildly treated mineral oil (used in the automotive industry) causes skin cancer (especially the scrotum). (Source)
  29. Testicular cancer has the highest survival rate, while pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival rate among common cancers. (Source)
  30. There is strong evidence that poor oral hygiene plays a role in causing pancreatic cancer. The bacteria that causes an oral disease may also develop pancreatic cancer. (Source)
  31. According to a recent study, bacteria on the tongue can provide a clue about pancreatic cancer in its early stages. (Source)
  32. Outdoor pollutants (diesel engine exhaust, dust, metals, etc.) can cause lung cancer. High levels of pollution also increase the risk of bladder cancer. (Source)
  33. Wood dust is another carcinogen that causes cancers of the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses. People related to furniture-making, sawmills, and other similar jobs are at risk of these cancers. (Source)
  34. Obesity increases the dangers of several types of cancers. These include endometrial, esophageal, gastric cardiac, lung, kidney, brain tumor, and pancreatic cancers. (Source)
  35. Australia and New Zealand have the world’s highest skin cancer rates. It is due to the fair skin of most of the population, high levels of UV radiation from the sun (due to the closeness of the Antarctic ozone hole), and fondness of skin tanning and beach activities.
  36. UV rays have also been found beneficial against cancer due to the high amount of Vitamin D they produce. A Japanese study on more than 33,000 people of both genders has found that higher doses of vitamin D decrease the risk of liver cancer by 22%. The high dose of vitamin D does not produce negative effect on any other type of cancer. (Source)
    sunshine on beach
    UV rays from sun can cause and also prevent cancer

  37. Lung, prostate, and colorectal cancers are the most common cancers among men. The top three cancers among women include breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and lung cancer. (Source)
  38. There are several misconceptions about causes of cancer. Several things are famous as cancer-causing but not linked to cancer. These include: stress, genetically modified foods, food additives, etc. (Source)
  39. Apart from humans, few wild animals also develop various cancers. This disease can even cause extinction of some species. (Source)
  40. Mammals such as Bowhead whales, elephants, and naked mole rats never or rarely get cancers due to special protective functions in their bodies. (Source)
  41. Bacteria, fungi, and physical damage can cause cancer in plants. However, these tumors in plants cannot spread to other tissues. (Source)
  42. Venoms in certain animals have medicinal benefits. Bee, snake, and scorpion venom have the potential to treat several types of cancers. Research is underway to use it as a replacement of chemotherapy. (Source)
  43. Several studies prove that consumption of dietary fiber decreases the risks of colon, breast, stomach, rectum, mouth, and a few other cancers. (Source)
  44. A new study proves that regular consumption of tree nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews, etc.) significantly decreases the risk of recurrence of colon cancer. (Source)
  45. Processed meats, grilled meats, farmed salmon, artificial sweeteners, and microwave popcorn increase the danger of cancer.
  46. Phytic acid (or phytate) is an anti-nutrient in the bran and seeds of several kinds of cereal and grains. This anti-nutrient reduces the absorption of vital nutrients such as calcium, iron, and zinc in the body. However, phytic acid has been proven beneficial against several cancers for in vivo and in vitro studies. (Source)
  47. Processed meat is a proven cause of cancers in humans (group 1 carcinogen). Even 50 grams of processed meat per day increases the dangers of bowel and stomach cancers. Red meat is a 2A carcinogen, which may cause cancer if eaten in excessive amounts. (Source)
  48. A study proves that drinking just a cup or two of coffee per day decreases the risk of colon cancer. Drinking more coffee further reduces the risk of developing this disease. (Source)
  49. Another study suggests drinking two or more cups of coffee daily increases the risk of lung cancer. Interestingly, decaf coffee is more dangerous compared to caffeinated coffee. (Source)
  50. Breastfeeding for six months or more reduces the risk of breast and ovarian cancers. Breastfeeding can also protect children from cancer by preventing obesity in later life. (Source)
  51. Pregnancy and breastfeeding for a minimum of 6 months also assist in survival from already existing breast cancer in women.
  52. Unilateral breast cancer is more common (an excess of 13%) in the left breast than the right breast. (Source)
  53. Chinese-style salted fish is a group 1 carcinogen. It is due to the addition of nitrate in this type of fish. Its consumption can cause cancers of nasopharynx and stomach. (Source)
  54. Blue light (present in LED lights, smartphones, and tablets) can increase the risk of prostate and breast cancers. Their (smartphones and tablets) usage is more dangerous at night as it disrupts hormone levels that can cause these cancers. (Source)
    Tablet and pen
    Blue light in tablets and smartphones increases risk of cancer

  55. A direct relation between high levels of (2G and 3G) mobile phone radiation exposure and cancer has been found in rats. This study is considered evidence that extremely high levels of such radiation may also cause some types of cancers in human beings.
  56. Studies have proved that women having their first childbirth before 30 years of age have less risk of breast cancer. Pregnancies that last for 34 weeks or longer are more beneficial than pregnancies of 33 weeks or less duration.
  57. A study in Sweden has proved that the widespread use of the HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine can prevent cervical cancer. The effectiveness of this vaccine increases if girls complete this procedure before age 17. (Source)
  58. Most cancers are diagnosed in patients aged 60 years and older. The highest rate is in people between 80 and 84 years. (Source)
  59. Long-term use of permanent hair dyes with dark colors (red, black) may increase the risk of blood cancer. (Source)
  60. More than 70% of deaths from cancer (5 million out of 7 million deaths) are recorded in low and middle-income countries (LMCs). (Source)
  61. Cancer results in the monetary loss of billions of dollars in many countries around the globe. The economic burden of cancer is 1.8% of GDP in the USA and 1.07% of GDP in the EU. (Source)
  62. English actor Billy Owen lost his right eyeball due to cancer in 2009. The former mechanic used this feature to work as a zombie in music videos and haunted houses. (Source)


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