Cancer can affect people at all ages with the risk for most types increasing with age. It caused about 25 % of all human deaths. Cancers are primarily an environmental disease with 90-95% of cases due to lifestyle and environmental factors and 5-10% due to genetics. Common environmental factors leading to cancer death include: smoking (25-30%), diet and obesity (30-35%), infections (15-20%), radiation, stress, lack of physical activity, environmental pollution. These environmental factors cause abnormalities in the genetic material of cells.
The division of normal cells is precisely controlled. New cells are only formed for growth or to replace dead ones.
Cancerous cells divide repeatedly out of control even though they are not needed, they crowd out other normal cells and function abnormally. They can also destroy the correct functioning of major organs.
Cancer prevention is defined as active measures to decrease the incidence of cancer. Greater than 30% of cancer is preventable via avoiding risk factors including: smoking, overweight or obesity, low fruit and vegetable intake, physical inactivity, alcohol, sexually transmitted infection, air pollution.
The epidemiological concept of "prevention" is usually defined as either primary prevention, for people who have not been diagnosed with a particular disease, or secondary prevention, aimed at reducing recurrence or complications of a previously diagnosed illness.
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