What causes cancer: everything that science tells us about it

It is probably, one of the most feared words in our language Cancer is the second cause of death, only behind heart disease. In reality it is a very broad term that covers many diseases, although all have a common denominator: the cancer cells they acquire the ability to multiply and spread throughout the organism out of control.

Lung cancer starts in the lung and colon cancer in the colon, but all of them can suffer disseminations that are known as metastases. The symptoms and the treatment depend on the type of cancer and how advanced the disease is, and although some of them are determined by predispositions or defects genetic, so we can not do anything about it, it is also true that it is more than proven that eat specific things, breathe certain substances or even use some types of plastics increase the risk of developing some deadly cancers.

Here we list some dangerous factors that science has strongly linked with cancer and that therefore it is good to know. Some you will know very well (obesity, tobacco, alcohol, pollution and a long etcetera), but others may surprise you.


You've probably heard more than once Eat a lot of candies not only leads to diabetes but can damage your cells and increase the risk of cancer. Well, that's not all. New research suggests that sugar can feed the growth of tumors in the body, because it would serve as "gas"For the disease." In the words of Belgian biologist Johan Travelein, who has investigated about it: "The consumption of sugar by cancer cells leads to a vicious circle of continuous stimulation in the cancer development and growth"

Their findings suggest that the most common cancer-causing genes, called Ras proteins, they feed aggressive tumors with their sugar consumption. In summary, sugar "wakes up" existing cancer cells, making them multiply and expand quickly, according to the investigation.

Sun exposure without protection

Maybe you're one of those who thinks that everyone when he's dark is more handsome, but you should reconsider. No matter what you hear in tanning salons, the cumulative damage caused by Ultraviolet radiation can cause premature aging of the skin (wrinkles, spots and yes, even skin cancer). According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, people who use a tanning bed before the age of 35 increase the risk of developing melanoma by 75%.

It is more than proven that eating specific things, breathing certain substances or using some plastics increases the risk of cancer

The sun can also hurt you, try to use protective clothes as well as sunscreen and look for shade, especially if you are going to be exposed to the sun for more than 15 minutes.

Chemical products

Some people work daily with substances that cause cancer. Those who are at risk of coming into contact with these substances are:

Aluminum workers


Tar pavers

Rubber manufacturers

Hairdressers who deal with dyes daily

Nail Salon Workers

Cabinet makers (those who have to cut wood regularly are likely to develop cancer in the nasal cavities)

Night shifts

The International Agency for Research on Cancer classified night work as a probable carcinogen in 2007. Scientists believe that working long hours in the dark can disrupt the body's natural cycles, circadian sleep and wakefulness.

Do you like burned meat?

We're going bad Excessively burned meats on the grill can be very tasty, but will probably increase the risk of cancer. This is because they contain compounds called heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

According to National Cancer Institute, when these meats (beef, chicken or even fish) are cooked at high temperatures and burned too much, along with the fats and juices that release the flames they also do a series of chemical agents that, although it has not been shown that cause cancer, yes that tests in laboratories have discovered that they produce changes in DNA, so they could increase the risks of suffering it in the future.

Pickled food

The fish cured with salt, which is popular in China, has a high content of nitrates and nitrites, carcinogens that could cause some types of cancer (mainly head and neck, which usually start in the moist tissues that surround the mouth, nose and throat). Similarly, Eat lots of pickled foods It can also increase the risk of cancer stomach.

The diet in this disease is very important, because being overweight it could increase the chances of having it, and some small studies have suggested that drinking green tea could help protect against this evil, although larger scale research has not found such link.

At the time of menstruation

Those women whom their first rule early may have an increased risk of breast cancer because they are exposed to more estrogen and progesterone, produced by the ovaries. The same could happen to those who they go through menopause and they use a combination therapy of estrogen and progestin to help relieve their symptoms.

Although in some cases we are determined by predispositions or genetic defects, prevention is a fundamental factor

The use of contraceptive pills it could also increase the risk that a woman develops cervical cancer, although there is evidence that, on the other hand, taking this pill can reduce the risk of developing other diseases (uterine, colorectal and ovarian cancer).


According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, placing foreign objects in your body, such as silicone breast implants (or other metals and ceramics), can also cause cancer. Although that does not mean, according to the Mayo Clinic, that you have to go running to attack your trusted surgeon. "A recent review of documented cases of lymphomas associated with breast implants in the U.S that was from the years 1996 to 2015 determined that the incidence of this sickness it was two for every million women with a breast implant textured. "


Some viruses can indirectly increase the risk of cancer. This is because in some situations trigger genetic changes in the cells that can contribute to the disease. Those directly related are the human papilloma (HPV), which causes cervical cancer, hepatitis B and C, which can cause the liver, in addition to the H. pylor bacteriai that produces gastric cancer.

Spicy or burning drinks

Beware of that hot coffee that you have been served in Cafeteria. Recent investigations have concluded that the people who drink very hot mate (which is traditionally served in the coldest areas of South America) have higher rates of esophageal cancer. The alcohol consumption and tobacco can increase that risk. Another study in Iran He came to very similar conclusions.

However, this risk is relatively small and easy to avoid. Be kind to your tongue and with your esophagus that are the only ones you have and wait a few minutes before giving a sip.