Is cancer preventable?

There is a common misperception that if cancer does not run in your family, you are relatively safe from the disease. Not so.

Only 5 to 10 percent of cancers are familial, or hereditary, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI). That leaves roughly 90 percent unaccounted for.

It may be surprising to learn that a large proportion of that 90 percent stems from actions or habits you do or don’t do. The American Cancer Society (ACS) asserts that more than 40 percent of the cases of cancer are of our own doing.

Several factors increase the risk of cancer. Some are out of your control. The incidence increases with age. Roughly 52 percent of the cases occur between the ages of 55 and 74. Cancer under the age of 34 is relatively uncommon in comparison. The environment is another factor outside of your reach. You can’t control the air


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