Causes of Cancer


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Causes of Cancer: There are many possible causes of cancer. See also articles Cancer Theories, or Cancer Causes.

Cause statistics for Cancer: The following are statistics from various sources about the causes of Cancer:

  • Cancer was the underlying cause in 88.6% of cancer deaths in Australia 2002 (AIHW & AACR, 2003, Australia’s Health 2004, AIHW)
  • Cancer was the underlying cause in 90.2% of female deaths from cancer in Australia 1997-2002 (AIHW National Morbidity Database, Australia’s Health 2004, AIHW)
  • Cancer was the underlying cause in 88.0% of male deaths from cancer in Australia 1997-2002 (AIHW National Morbidity Database, Australia’s Health 2004, AIHW)
  • Coronary heart disease was an underlying cause in 4.6% of female deaths from cancer in Australia 1997-2002 (AIHW National Morbidity Database, Australia’s Health 2004, AIHW)
  • Coronary Heart Disease was an underlying cause in 7.5% of male deaths from cancer in Australia 1997-2002 (AIHW National Morbidity Database, Australia’s Health 2004, AIHW)
  • Endocrine disease was an underlying cause in 13.6% of female deaths from cancer in Australia 1997-2002 (AIHW National Morbidity Database, Australia’s Health 2004, AIHW)
  • Endocrine disease was an underlying cause in 17.7% of male deaths from cancer in Australia 1997-2002 (AIHW National Morbidity Database, Australia’s Health 2004, AIHW)
  • Respiratory disease was an underlying cause in 12.4% of female deaths from cancer in Australia 1997-2002 (AIHW National Morbidity Database, Australia’s Health 2004, AIHW)
  • Respiratory disease was an underlying cause in 15.7% of male deaths from cancer in Australia 1997-2002 (AIHW National Morbidity Database, Australia’s Health 2004, AIHW)
  • Stroke was an underlying cause in 4.7% of female deaths from cancer in Australia 1997-2002 (AIHW National Morbidity Database, Australia’s Health 2004, AIHW)
  • Stroke was an underlying cause in 8.2% of male deaths from cancer in Australia 1997-2002 (AIHW National Morbidity Database, Australia’s Health 2004, AIHW)
  • 1,227 deaths from cancer were caused directly by alcohol consumption in Australia 2000 (AACR, 2003, Australia’s Health 2004, AIHW)
  • 7,650 deaths from cancer was caused directly by smoking in Australia 2000 (AACR, 2003, Australia’s Health 2004, AIHW)
  • 6.5 per 100,000 population of deaths from cancer were caused directly by alcohol consumption in Australia 2000 (AACR, 2003, Australia’s Health 2004, AIHW)
  • 40.5 per 100,000 population died from cancer caused directly by smoking in Australia 2000 (AACR, 2003, Australia’s Health 2004, AIHW)
  • Cancer was the associated cause of death in 11.4% of cancer deaths in Australia 2002 (AIHW & AACR, 2003, Australia’s Health 2004, AIHW)
  • Cancer was the associated cause of death in 4,826 cancer deaths in Australia 2002 (AIHW & AACR, 2003, Australia’s Health 2004, AIHW)
  • Smoking accounts for an estimated 16.8% of new cases of cancer in men in Australia (AACR, 2003, Australia’s Health 2004, AIHW)
  • Smoking accounts for an estimated 7.9% of new cases of cancer in women in Australia (AACR, 2003, Australia’s Health 2004, AIHW)
  • 10,807 new cases of cancer was caused directly by smoking in Australia 2000 (AACR, 2003, Australia’s Health 2004, AIHW)
  • 14.3 per 100,000 population of new cases of cancer were caused directly by alcohol consumption in Australia 2000 (AACR, 2003, Australia’s Health 2004, AIHW)
  • 2,697 new cases of cancer were caused directly by alcohol consumption in Australia 2000 (AACR, 2003, Australia’s Health 2004, AIHW)
  • 57.2 per 100,000 population of new cases of cancer was caused directly by smoking in Australia 2000 (AACR, 2003, Australia’s Health 2004, AIHW)

Cause details for Cancer: The body is made up of many types of cells. Normally, cells grow and divide to produce more cells only when the body needs them. This orderly process helps keep the body healthy. Sometimes, however, cells keep dividing when new cells are not needed. These extra cells form a mass of tissue, called a growth or tumor.1

Even though doctors can seldom explain why one person gets cancer and another does not, it is clear that cancer is not caused by an injury, such as a bump or bruise. And although being infected with certain viruses may increase the risk of some types of cancer, cancer is not contagious; no one can "catch" cancer from another person.

Cancer develops over time. It is a result of a complex mix of factors related to lifestyle, heredity, and environment. A number of factors that increase a person's chance of developing cancer have been identified. Many types of cancer are related to the use of tobacco, what people eat and drink, exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun, and, to a lesser extent, exposure to cancer-causing agents (carcinogens) in the environment and the workplace. Some people are more sensitive than others to factors that can cause cancer.1

Cancer as a complication: Other conditions that might have Cancer as a complication might be potential underlying causes of Cancer. The list of conditions listing Cancer as a complication in our database includes:

Causes of Cancer: medical news summaries: The following medical news items are relevant to causes of Cancer:

Related information for causes of Cancer: Further relevant information on causes of Cancer may be found in the risk factors for Cancer and underlying causes of Cancer.

Footnotes:
1. excerpt from What You Need To Know About Cancer - An Overview: NCI

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