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Cancer: Causes and Prevention

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Cancer is a major cause of death. Worldwide, over the 58 million deaths in 2005, 13% were due to cancer. This frequency could increase by 50%, with 15 million new cases reported per year by 2020 according to the World Cancer Report, which provides the most comprehensive review to date on the situation. The more we wonder about the causes of cancer, the more ways will be found to avoid it. Researchers do not just wonder how a cancer cell evolves, but they are also trying to determine both the risk factors that increase the propensity to develop cancer, and the preventive factors that can reduce this propensity. This research is particularly difficult, as cancer does not result from an accident or illness, and is not contagious. Some people are more likely to develop cancer than others, and what is certain is that scientists can now identify practices or factors that can promote the emergence and development of cancer. However, while some risk factors can be avoided, others are so essential, that it is more advisable to perform screening. It is now clear that cancer results from an accumulation of complex factors, such as lifestyle, heredity and environment.

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