The bad news is that cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide.
The good news is that death rates from cancer in the U.S. have declined steadily over the last 25 years, according to the American Cancer Society.
This notable drop of about 1.5% per year has a lot to do with lifestyle changes.
Certain cancers are determined by genetics, which means it is out of our control to prevent it from occurring.
However, in many instances the food we eat, the lifestyles we live, and the chemicals we breathe and ingest can dramatically increase the risk of some cancers.
Business Insider recently delved deeper into the medical world to determine which known carcinogens (cancer causers) and other factors can increase that risk. Based on that report, here are 11 things that could be linked to cancer:
Sugar. Eating too much sugar has been linked to diabetes and weight gain, but those are not the only health risks that come with polishing off all those bags of sweets or drinking sodas.
Consuming too much sugar can also damage cells, increasing your chances of developing cancer.
Processed foods. The chances are that if the food you are eating has little to no resemblance to its original form (a piece of fruit or vegetable) it is probably bad for your health.
Foods that have been plastic wrapped to last for ages on the shelves have also been linked to certain cancers. This could be from the ingredients that give the items their extended shelf life or the plastic packaging they come in.
Smoking. By now you probably know just how bad smoking is for your health and that it can cause cancer. However, it is not just smokers who are at risk.
Tobacco smoke contains at least 70 chemicals that can cause cancer, putting people who inhale secondhand smoke also at risk of developing deadly cancers.
Charred meat. Meats that have been charred, or cooked over an open flame, contain compounds that have been linked to cancer. Those dangerous chemicals are released when meat such as beef, poultry, and fish are cooked over an open flame or even pan-fried at high temperatures.
Alcohol. Drinking more than the recommended limit on a regular basis can increase your risk of developing several types of cancer affecting the liver, colon, and digestive system.
Diesel exhaust. Research has found that diesel oil contains more than 30 airborne chemicals that have been linked to lung cancer and possibly bladder cancer, the American Cancer Society noted.
Processed meats. While hot dogs, bacon, and ham all taste great, they are not doing your health any favors. These processed meats are crammed with cancer-causing preservatives.
They have also undergone various treatments that can all up your risk of developing cancer. If that is not enough, studies have found that red meat, even when unprocessed, has also been linked to certain types of cancer.
Birth control. This has been a strongly debated topic, but some research suggests that using birth control pills could increase a woman’s likelihood of developing cervical cancer.
However, on the opposite end of the spectrum, other studies found the opposite to be true. There is also evidence that birth control pills may reduce the risk of developing other cancers.
Viruses. Some viruses like human papillomavirus (HPV), hepatitis B and C viruses, the Epstein-Barr virus, and even the H. pylori bacterium could increase the risk of cancer.
Obesity. Being overweight can put you at risk of various health issues, and cancer is one of them. Obesity can increase your chances of developing several types of cancer affecting the kidneys, pancreas, breast, and colon.
Business Insider / Crickey Amigu di Natura 2019.