Why Cancer Happens

Cancer occurs when the body’s cells (building blocks) change and grow out of control due to mistakes in genes (mutation).

Many factors can cause normal genes to change, these factors include:

  • Age
  • environmental exposures
  • hormonal levels in the body
  • Diet
  • Genetic susceptibility (5-10% of all cancers)

In some cases, cancer is caused by an abnormal gene that is being passed from generation to generation. Individuals who inherit an abnormal gene are at increased risk for cancer, but may or may not develop cancer. Only about 5% to 10% of all cancers are due to inherited mistakes (mutations) in genes. from a parent.

For most individuals we can not determine what was the cause of their cancer. Much is still unknown about the causes of cancers.

Healthy Lifestyle recommendations ACS

According to the American Cancer Society, many cancer deaths could be prevented by making healthy choices like:

  • Not smoking
  • Staying at a healthy weight
  • Healthy Eating
  • Keeping active
  • Getting recommended screening tests.

Here you can learn how to help lower your chances of getting cancer, and learn what screening tests are recommended by American Cancer Society.

We do not inherit cancer – we can inherit an increased risk for cancer.