Cancer is a nightmare disease that has left the entire world shaking, leaving a trail of death and financial burden in its wake.
Cancer is the 3rd leading cause of death here in Kenya after infections and cardiovascular diseases. According to the International Agency for Research in Cancer report done in 2018, about 47, 887 cases of cancer are recorded annually, with the mortality rate standing at 32, 987 people. These are figures that keep increasing over time.
This killer disease attributes its causes to several factors among them:
These are a class of toxic compounds that are produced by a mould that grows on food. There can be abundantly found in warm and humid regions of the world are have been known to cause liver damage and cancer. People can be exposed to aflatoxins by eating contaminated plant products (such as peanuts) or by consuming meat or dairy products from animals that ate contaminated feed.
- Poor lifestyle
Even though a majority of people are not aware, lifestyle plays a vital role in health, and extremes of it could end up costing you. Lifestyle habits such as smoking excessively, or eating high-fat diets are high contributors to getting cancer. So, if you see the ‘smoking is harmful to your health’ sign on the cigarette packet, do not ignore it.
If you stay or are exposed to an environment that has harmful chemicals, there are higher chances of getting cancer. Examples of such chemicals are asbestos or benzene. It is important to stay clear of such environments for your safety.
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- Family genetics
Although this factor is on the minimal side, some people contract cancer by an association of family members and relatives with the disease. It may be possible due to the inheritance of mutated genes from generation to generation. Hence, it is important that you go for screening to check whether you may have these cancerous genes. Note, however, that inheritance of mutated genes does not necessarily mean cancer is your portion.
This could be from the sun which releases toxic rays that are harmful to the skin. Ironically though, when one of cancer’s treatments is radiation therapy, it has been tested that being subject to intense radiation could potentially cause different cancer later. Some joke life is playing, right?
Even when these and so many more things could be potential causes of cancer, being diagnosed with the disease does not mean the end of the road. We just need to take caution and practice a healthy lifestyle for a healthy life.