Risk Factors

Some risk factors of cancer can’t be changed such as heredity. However, many risk factors can be changed and can reduce your risk of many types of cancer. The risk factors you can change include:

  • Cigarette Smoking and Tobacco Use
  • Exposure to Secondhand Smoke
  • Exposure to Ultraviolet Radiation from Sunlight and Tanning Beds
  • Exposure to Medical Radiation
  • Exposure to Radon Gas
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV) - Vaccine is Available
  • Hepatitis B - Vaccine is Available
  • Limiting Alcohol Intake
  • Keeping a Healthy Weight

Educational Materials




Cancer Facts

Cancer is a term for disease in which abnormal cells divide without control and are able to invade other tissues. Cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymph systems. Cancer is not just one disease, but many diseases. There are more than 100 different types of cancer. For more information visit the National Cancer Institute’s "What is Cancer?" webpage.

The number of new cancer cases can be reduced, and many cancer deaths can be prevented. Research shows that screening for cervical and colorectal cancers as recommended helps prevent these diseases by finding precancerous lesions so they can be treated before they become cancerous. Screening for cervical, colorectal, and breast cancers also helps find these diseases at an early, often highly treatable stage. The Kansas Early Detection Works program offers free mammograms and Pap tests to women 40 to 64 years old who do not have insurance and meet income eligibility guidelines.

Vaccines also help reduce cancer risk. The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine helps prevent most cervical cancers and some vaginal and vulvar cancers, and the hepatitis B vaccine can help reduce liver cancer risk.

A person's cancer risk can be reduced in other ways by receiving regular medical care, avoiding tobacco, limiting alcohol use, avoiding excessive exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun and tanning beds, eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, maintaining a healthy weight, and being physically active.

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