Several activities or behaviors can increase risk of cancer

One in three women and one in two men will develop cancer sometime in their lifetime according to Garrett Harding, outreach coordinator for the Huntsman Cancer Center. On KVNU’s For the People Friday, he said in 1971 just one person in 69 diagnosed with the disease surived but he said that thanks to treatment at places like Huntsman that figure had increased to one in 23 cancer survivors in the year 2013.

Harding said the use of tobacco is still the number one risk when it comes to contracting cancer and fortunately Utah has fewer tobacco users than any other state. He pointed out some of the major risk factors that contribute to cancer.

“Tobacco use is number one,” Harding said, “followed by being overweight or obese. Infectious agents like viruses, the Human papillomavirus, and other bacterias are number three.

“Physical activity and diets, occupational exposures, exposure to UV radiation from the sun and then environmental pollutants also contribute.”

Harding said some people question the importance of lack of exercise and poor diet when it comes to cancer risks. He said they contribute to excess body fat and that may cause inflammation, causing the cells to mutate in certain organs of the body. He said any time there is a mutation of the genetic material it can spur cancer which can grow out of control.

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