Daily Habits that Could Increase Your Risk of Cancer

By Lisa Franchi on September 05, 2013

It’s true that cancer is a disease that is partly genetic. However, it is also something that can be developed through unhealthy lifestyle. Many people have daily habits that unfortunately are making them more at risk of cancer. After reading this article, you should take immediate steps to avoid such habits, especially if you are also guilty of them.

Junk food Diet

Cooking from scratch and using fresh and raw ingredients may sound a little tiring but it is much, much better than simply heating frozen meals in the microwave. There are plenty of studies showing that fast food could amp your risk of certain types of cancer. In a study published earlier this year in the journal European Journal of Cancer Prevention, it was found that people who regularly eat processed foods like bacon and sausages, as well as chocolate and other sweet treats like cakes and biscuits are at a higher risk of bowel cancer. Meanwhile, scientists at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre in Seattle found that eating deep-fried food boosts the risk of prostate cancer.

Too Little Sleep

You probably know that chronic stress could make you vulnerable to cancer as it weakens your immune system and trigger cancer-causing inflammation. Getting enough Zs each night has been found to increase the risk of developing an aggressive form of breast cancer, according to a study published in the Breast Cancer Research and Treatment.


According to Cancer Research UK, smoking increases the risk of at least 14 forms of cancer including lung, bowel, pancreatic and mouth cancers. Tobacco contains over 4,000 chemicals, more than 200 of which are carcinogens. Smoking is also tied to other illnesses, including heart disease and dementia.

Drinking Too Much

A glass of wine per day has been scientifically proven to benefit your physical health, particularly your heart. But going overboard can have opposite effects. A study by the National Cancer Institute found that drinking 7 to 14 alcoholic drinks per week – equivalent to one or two glasses a day – could raise your risk of breast cancer by 30-60 per cent.


Spending too much time on the couch or in your desk is another deadly habit you may want to avoid. Lack of physical activity doesn’t only increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes and obesity, but also cancer. In a paper published in the journal Oncology, physical inactivity, along with obesity, has been linked to colon cancer.

Using Lots of Chemicals

Most artificial cosmetics contain a host of dangerous ingredients, which when used for a long period of time, could increase your cancer. For example, alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids which are common ingredients in beauty products that help reduce wrinkles and blemishes could double skin damage and skin cancer risks, according to the findings of the Food & Drug Administration in the US. Furthermore, phthalates – industrial plasticizers used in personal care products like moisturisers, skin softeners and nail polishes, had been linked to a wide range of birth defects and lifelong reproductive impairments targeting the male reproductive system.

Whilst a higher risk of cancer could be hardwired in some people’s genes, it still possible to prevent it by observing a healthy lifestyle which includes regular exercise, proper diet and nutrition, quality sleep and rest.

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