Family history and genetic makeup are two factors that increase risk of cancer. These two are outside your control, but according to research, 80% to 90% of tumours could be related to lifestyle choices. A significant lifestyle habit that could increase cancer risk is your diet.
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A study published in the Natural Library of Medicine in 2020, found that overcooking foods such as meat can produce carcinogens. Researchers concluded that some substances produced when cooking meat and some starchy foods like potatoes on high heat may increase the risk of cancer by altering the DNA of your cells, Healthline states. Some cooking methods that can lead to the production of heterocyclic amines (HCAS) include grilling, barbecuing and pan frying. According to the US National Cancer Institute:
Exposure to high levels of HCAs and PAHs can cause cancer in animals; however, whether such exposure causes cancer in humans is unclear.
Dairy products such as milk, cheese and yoghurt have been shown to increase the risk of prostate cancer. A 2014 review in the American Journal of Clinical Nutritionreveals that eating these food items increases levels of chemical associated with the ‘proliferation, or production of prostate cancer cells’.
Carbs and sugary foods
Some foods can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes and obesity, conditions that are associated with certain types of cancer, according to Healthline.
According to a 2020 study, both conditions promote inflammation and oxidative stress. This may increase your risk for certain types of cancer.
Diabetes and obesity have been found to increase risks of breast, ovarian and endometrial cancer.
Heavy or frequent consumption of alcohol increases the risk of developing cancers such as throat, liver, breast, colon and rectum cancers. According to the National Cancer Institute:
Although red wine has been suspected of reducing cancer risk, there is no scientific evidence for such an association…The risk of developing cancer increases with the amount of alcohol a person drinks.
Healthline: 6 Foods That May Increase Your Risk of Cancer