Who is at risk of getting cancer

2016-03-02 06:00
Dr Albert van Jaarsveld. Photo: supplied

Dr Albert van Jaarsveld. Photo: supplied

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AS mentioned in my previous column, I wish to address risk profiling for a few common cancers and the information provided is again sourced from the respectable National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines.
Please note these are only factors that might increase the risk of developing cancer, it is not a guarantee at all.

Breast cancer – a family history of breast cancer is always an important factor. There are well researched risk profiling tools that can categorise someone into high or moderate risk of developing breast cancer. Consult an expert if you would like to know more about this.
Another risk factor that might not be well known is if a person received prior thoracic irradiation between ages 10 and 30. Genetic testing is a topic­ I wish to address in my next column.

Lung cancer – the obvious risk is smoking, but previous exposure to radon gas, occupational exposure to silica, cadmium, asbestos, arsenic, beryllium, chromium, diesel fumes, nickel, coal smoke and soot has also been linked to it.

Colo-rectal cancer – a personal history of inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Chrohn’s disease) and a family history of colo-rectal cancer warrants more vigilance.

Cervical cancer – early first intercourse, multiple sexual partners, history of STDs, smoking, immune suppression and Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection are common risk factors.

The message remains - with early detection and vigilance cancer can be controlled.

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