Cancer Risk Factors

Cancer risk factors causes cancer that can originate from almost any organ, with the prostate cancer being the most common in men and breast cancer in women. The ability of cancer to be cured varies considerably and depends on the type of cancer and the extent of the disease at diagnosis.

Cancer is a characterized primarily by an excessive proliferation of abnormal cells without apparent relation to the physiological needs of the organ involved. Normal cells will divide approximately about 60 times but a single cancer cell can divide indefinitely resulting to a tissue called tumor and if this tumor spread to other body organs, they can be called cancerous or malignant.

Cancer can grow and spread in several ways:

• Directly extending into adjacent tissues

•Invading a nearby body cavity

•Invading along lymphatic vessels

•Traveling via lymphatic vessels to the lymph nodes

•Traveling via blood vessels

Different Cancer Terminologies

•Carcinomas – cancer from epithelial cells

•Leukemias – are cancers of blood-forming organs

•Lymphomas – from reticulo-endothelial lymph nodes organ

•Sarcomas – from connective tissues

As a nurse, our practice covers all age groups and nursing specialties is carried out in a variety of health care settings, including the home, community, acute care institutions, and rehabilitation centers.
The scope, responsibilities and goals of cancer nursing also called oncology nursing, are as diverse and complex as those of any nursing specialty. Because many people associate cancer with pain and death, nurses need to identify their own reactions to cancer and set realistic goals to meet the challenges in caring for patients with cancer. Nurses should also know something about the laws that exist in relation with nursing because cancer attorney are active nowadays to sue those who trample the rights of cancer patients (asbestos cancer lawyer for example - active in pursuing mesothelioma cancer cases).

In addition, the onco nurse must be prepared to support the patient and family through a wide range of physical, emotional, social, cultural, and spiritual crises.


Cancer has no single cause since cancer is not a single disease. Most likely, cancer occurs because of interactions between multiple cancer risk factors or repeated exposure to a single carcinogenic agent.

Among the cancer risk factors are:

•Age - incidence increases with age

•Sex. – variations exist between the incidence in men and women. For example, breast cancer affects more women (99% of the incidence) than men (1%)

•Race – skin, color, diet and custom affect the occurrence of cancer. For example, white skin is more prone to develop skin cancer than dark colored people.

•Heredity or Family History - certain individuals have an increased risk to develop cancer if the family member has cancer. Online nursing classes discover that almost 50 types of cancer can be linked to hereditary predisposition.
Breast cancer for example, occurs more frequently in women whose grandmothers, mothers, aunts, and sisters also have experienced a breast malignancy.

•Chemical and Occupational. - more than six million chemicals have been identified based on test books used by online nursing classes. It is estimated that less than 1000 of these have been extensively examined for their carcinogenic potential. Approximately 2% to 4% of cancer deaths are associated with an exposure to an occupational hazard. For example, exposure to asbestos fibers cause asbestos cancer. It is also is related to increased risks for developing several cancers like asbestos lung cancer, mesothelioma cancer, laryngeal and gastrointestinal cancers.

Asbestos cancer lawyer or cancer attorney are doing there part to sue the asbestos mining companies who does not safeguard the health of their employees during work. Many miners acquire asbestos cancer, asbestos lung cancer, or mesothelioma cancer through their working environment.

•Lifestyle - Dominant lifestyle practices to be considered include:

1. Smoking - contains both procarcinogens and promoters. It is directly associated with lung and laryngeal cancer and has been linked with cancers of the esophagus, pancreas, kidney uterine cervix, and bladder. Chewing tobacco or tobacco products increases the risk of cancers of the oral cavity and esophagus. Not only is the smoker at risk, but others passively exposed to cigarette smoke is at risk.

2. Diet - examples are benzopyrene and other polycyclic hydrocarbons may be produced when meat and fish are charcoal broiled or smoked or when foods are fried in fat that has been reused multiple times. Nitrosamines, which are powerful carcinogens, may be formed from nitrites added to vegetables and foods as preservatives. Cancer of the colon has been associated with high dietary intake of fat, protein, and beef and low intake of dietary fiber.

3. Alcohol - this cancer risk factors modifies the metabolism of carcinogens in the liver and esophagus.

•Radiation or Sun Exposure - the type of cancer depends on the dose of radiation, sex of the person and age at which exposure occurred. The length of time between exposure and the onset of cancer is also related to the age of the individual. Exposure to sunlight also developed cancer because the ultraviolet radiation emits relatively low energy rays that do not deeply penetrate the skin but the skin absorb most of the rays.

For more information, visit the cancer risk factors homepage.

Or go back to homepage: Online Nursing CEUS.

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