Exposure to some harmful substances can increase one’s risk of developing cancers. As a result, people are often told to stay away from these cancer-causing substances, especially tobacco and alcohol. A common cancer question behind this is that how these substances get involved in developing cancer.
As is well known, cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells anywhere in a body. Cancerous cells grow when accumulating genetic mistakes give rise to faulty genes which subsequently induce an uncontrolled cell division.
When a cell divides, it copies the 3 billion DNA codes that make up its genetic code. Genetic mistakes may happen during the duplication of DNA, though the chance is extremely small due to a proofreading ability for cells to find the faults and initiate defend mechanism against these damages. Furthermore, one tiny genetic mistake wouldn’t be enough for the cell to become cancerous. It’s the accumulation of DNA mistakes that contribute to the uncontrollable growth of cancerous cells.
Genetic faults happen in two main ways. One is that faults in DNA can occur naturally during the duplicating process. Another is the way we live our lives. Tobacco smoking and alcohol drinking can damage DNA, and people who are exposed to a harmful environment are more likely to develop cancer.
Since we cannot control the natural occurrence of genetic faults, living in a healthy way is a vital outlet that can help us prevent cancer. It is reported that in the UK, about 4 in 10 cancer cases are avoidable through lifestyle changes. Some healthy living habits have been well-publicised:
- staying away from smoking
- limiting alcohol
- keeping a healthy body weight
- eating a healthy and balanced diet
- enjoying the sun safely.
- keeping active
Seriously, it is high time that tobacco smokers threw away tobacco at hand.