Why Cancer Forms and How To Lower Your Risk


By Alexa Tieu

Burley, Idaho (KMVT-TV) Cancer is something which affects the lives of most people.

Before modern technology, doctors didn't know what increased the risks of cancer.

Your daily habits may be to blame.

When you hear of someone you know or love getting cancer, it can be devastating.

But sometimes we wonder what causes carcinomas to form.

Cancer is caused by mutations in our DNA from different exposures in our lives.

"Of those people that die from cancer, many are directly related to our habits. Obesity, poor nutrition, physical inactivity and of course our exposures,” says Dr. A. Richard Miranda, an Oncologist at Cassia Regional Medical Center.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States for both men and women.

It is also the easiest to prevent.

Dr. Miranda says, "Commonly we think of tobacco as an exposure for lung cancer. The reality is that of everybody that has lung cancer, 80% of those are related to smoking.

Asbestos can also be a risk when a smoker is exposed to it.

"We know that asbestos is associated with lung cancer, a very specific type of lung cancer called mesothelioma,” said Dr. Miranda.

While the risk of lung cancer increases for smokers, cigarettes aren't a death wish.

Dr. Miranda says, "If you take all smokers, only 20% of those people will develop lung cancer. So are there other causes of lung cancer? Yes there are."

But those with lung cancer now have more hope than ever.

Says Dr. Miranda, "In reality, there are only 3 different ways of treating cancer. There's surgery, there's chemotherapy and there's radiation therapy."

But exercise and eating right may be what you need to avoid cancer and its treatments all together.

The American Cancer Society predicts there will be 1.5 million new cases of cancer reported for 2013.

More than 500,000 people are projected to die from cancer next year.

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