Signs You Will Get Cancer
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Cancer is caused by changes mutations to the DNA within cells. The DNA inside a cell is packaged into a large number of individual genes, each of which contains a set of instructions telling the cell what functions to perform, as well as how to grow and divide. Errors in the instructions can cause the cell to stop its normal function and may allow a cell to become cancerous. These mutations are the most common ones found in cancer.
But many other gene mutations can contribute to causing cancer. Gene mutations occur frequently during normal cell growth.
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However, cells contain a mechanism that recognizes when a mistake occurs and repairs the mistake. Occasionally, a mistake is missed. This could cause a cell to become cancerous. The gene mutations you're born with and those that you acquire throughout your life work together to cause cancer.
Should I get checked for cancer?
For instance, if you've inherited a genetic mutation that predisposes you to cancer, that doesn't mean you're certain to get cancer. Instead, you may need one or more other gene mutations to cause cancer. Your inherited gene mutation could make you more likely than other people to develop cancer when exposed to a certain cancer-causing substance. It's not clear just how many mutations must accumulate for cancer to form.
It's likely that this varies among cancer types. While doctors have an idea of what may increase your risk of cancer, the majority of cancers occur in people who don't have any known risk factors. Factors known to increase your risk of cancer include:. Cancer can take decades to develop. That's why most people diagnosed with cancer are 65 or older. While it's more common in older adults, cancer isn't exclusively an adult disease — cancer can be diagnosed at any age.
Certain lifestyle choices are known to increase your risk of cancer. Smoking, drinking more than one alcoholic drink a day for women of all ages and men older than age 65 or two drinks a day for men age 65 and younger , excessive exposure to the sun or frequent blistering sunburns, being obese, and having unsafe sex can contribute to cancer.
You can change these habits to lower your risk of cancer — though some habits are easier to change than others. Only a small portion of cancers are due to an inherited condition. If cancer is common in your family, it's possible that mutations are being passed from one generation to the next. You might be a candidate for genetic testing to see whether you have inherited mutations that might increase your risk of certain cancers.
7 Secret Signs You Might Have Cancer
Keep in mind that having an inherited genetic mutation doesn't necessarily mean you'll get cancer. Some chronic health conditions, such as ulcerative colitis, can markedly increase your risk of developing certain cancers. Talk to your doctor about your risk.
The environment around you may contain harmful chemicals that can increase your risk of cancer. Even if you don't smoke, you might inhale secondhand smoke if you go where people are smoking or if you live with someone who smokes. Chemicals in your home or workplace, such as asbestos and benzene, also are associated with an increased risk of cancer. There's no certain way to prevent cancer.
But doctors have identified several ways of reducing your cancer risk, such as:. Cancer care at Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission. This content does not have an English version.
This content does not have an Arabic version. Overview Cancer refers to any one of a large number of diseases characterized by the development of abnormal cells that divide uncontrollably and have the ability to infiltrate and destroy normal body tissue. Request an Appointment at Mayo Clinic. Share on: Facebook Twitter. Show references Cancer.
World Health Organization. Accessed Dec. Cancer: All sites. Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results. Testicular cancer typically develops in the germ cells, which are sperm-producing cells. While testicular cancer sounds daunting, the good news is that it is almost always curable if detected early, and it is typically still treatable even when it hits a later stage. Some men do not experience any noticeable symptoms in the early stages of testicular cancer, but there are a few hallmark signs to look out for. One of the first signs is usually a small lump on the testicle or enlargement of the testicle itself.
If diagnosed early, the chances of survival increase, but once the disease has advanced into later stages, it can be very difficult to treat. Unfortunately, most people do not experience any signs or symptoms until the cancer has reached a more serious stage.
Cancer - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic
According to Cancer Treatment Centers of America , there are actually four different types of stomach cancer. Most cases start within the cells of the innermost stomach lining, and in the early stages, there are often no symptoms. Some people do experience some stomach pain and nausea with this cancer, but because the symptoms match those of common bugs, many will not seek medical help. Others experience a lack of appetite and accompanying weight loss or heartburn. When abnormal cells in the ovaries begin to multiply out of control, tumors can form and spread to other areas of the body, says Healthline.
While there are some symptoms associated with ovarian cancer, they can come and go and are very similar to symptoms of less serious illnesses. Early symptoms for this disease include abdominal pain and bloating, difficulty eating in general, and an increase in urination. Heartburn, constipation, back pain, menstrual irregularities, and painful intercourse are also associated with ovarian cancer, but again, these symptoms alone may lead you to believe something else is amiss.
Liver cancer can also start in the organ itself. Once the disease hits the later stages, it can then spread to other parts of the liver. Weight loss, loss of appetite, and abdominal pain may occur. Unusual vaginal bleeding may occur, and this can happen after intercourse or menopause.
You may also feel a lump in your vagina and have painful, frequent urination.
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The following 10 cancers can show no signs or symptoms.