A risk factor is anything that may
increase your chance of having a disease. Risk factors for a certain type of cancer
might include smoking, diet, family history, or many other things. The exact cause of
someone’s cancer may not be known. But risk factors can make it more likely for a person
to have cancer.
Things you should know about risk factors for cancer:
Risk factors can increase a
person's risk, but they do'nt necessarily cause the disease.
Some people with 1 or more risk factors never develop cancer. Other people can develop cancer and have no risk factors.
Some risk factors are very well known. But there is ongoing research about risk factors for many types of cancer.
Some risk factors, such as family history, may not be in your control. But others might be things you can change. Knowing the risk factors can help you make choices that might lower your risk. For example, sun exposure is a risk factor, and you can protect yourself from the sun.