Cancer Causes (cont.)
Certain chemicals and other substances
People who have certain jobs (such as painters, construction workers, and
those in the chemical industry) have an increased risk of cancer. Many
studies have shown that exposure to asbestos, benzene, benzidine, cadmium,
nickel, or vinyl chloride in the workplace can cause cancer.
|Follow instructions and safety tips to avoid or reduce contact with
harmful substances both at work and at home. Although the risk is highest
for workers with years of exposure, it makes sense to be careful at home
when handling pesticides, used engine oil, paint, solvents, and other
Some viruses and bacteria
Being infected with certain viruses or bacteria may increase the risk of
- Human papillomaviruses (HPVs): HPV infection is the main cause of
cervical cancer. It also may be a risk factor for other types of cancer.
- Hepatitis B and hepatitis C viruses: Liver cancer can develop after many
years of infection with hepatitis B or hepatitis C.
- Human T-cell
leukemia/lymphoma virus (HTLV-1): Infection with HTLV-1 increases a person's
risk of lymphoma and leukemia.
- Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV): HIV is
the virus that causes AIDS. People who have HIV infection are at greater
risk of cancer, such as lymphoma and a rare cancer called Kaposi's sarcoma.
- Epstein-Barr virus (EBV): Infection with EBV has been linked to an increased
risk of lymphoma.
- Human herpesvirus 8 (HHV8): This virus is a risk factor
for Kaposi's sarcoma.
- Helicobacter pylori: This bacterium can cause stomach
ulcers. It also can cause stomach cancer and lymphoma in the stomach lining.
Do not have unprotected sex or share needles. You can get an HPV infection
by having sex with someone who is infected. You can get hepatitis B,
hepatitis C, or HIV infection from having unprotected sex or sharing needles
with someone who is infected.
You may want to consider getting the vaccine that prevents hepatitis B
infection. Health care workers and others who come into contact with other
people's blood should ask their doctor about this vaccine.
If you think you may be at risk for HIV or hepatitis infection, ask your
doctor about being tested. These infections may not cause symptoms, but
blood tests can show whether the virus is present. If so, the doctor may
suggest treatment. Also, the doctor can tell you how to avoid infecting
If you have stomach problems, see a doctor. Infection with H. pylori can
be detected and treated.
Viewers share their comments
Cancer Risk Factors - Sunlight
Question: Were you diagnosed with skin cancer? Can you recall excessive sun exposure? Please share your story.
Cancer Risk Factors - Tobacco
Question: Did/do you smoke or chew tobacco and have been diagnosed with cancer? Please share your experience.
Cancer Risk Factors - Chemicals and Substances
Question: Were you diagnosed with cancer? Have you ever been exposed to chemicals? Please share your story.
Cancer Risk Factors - Family History
Question: Is there a history of cancer in your family? What are your concerns?
Cancer Risk Factors - Diet and Exercise
Question: In what ways does risk or fear of cancer influence your diet and exercise? Have you changed your lifestyle?