Secondary Cancer – What Are The Factors That Affect Your Vulnerability

If you have survived cancer once, the last thing you would want is to battle it again. Read on to get a better understanding of the factors that increase your subsequent cancer risk so that you can determine your risk quotient and take steps to minimize it as much as possible.

A person’s risk of secondary cancer is dependent on many aspects – some of which are controllable while others are not. As a cancer patient, it is vital to discuss all measures that can be taken to lower the probability of a recurrence or the development of cancerous cells in other parts of your body later on. Here are some things that need to be taken into account while analyzing the chances of getting assailed by cancer cells again –

  1. A History Of Childhood Cancer – If you have dealt with cancer as a child especially before 15 years of age, you are more susceptible to secondary cancer. The reason behind this is the presence of inherited genetic factors that commonly trigger tumors in children. Such hereditary conditions may give birth to leukemia, breast carcinoma, and brain carcinoma later in life. It is, therefore, essential to keep a close watch on your health as you age.
  2. A Familial Predisposition To Cancer – If many of your relatives have had cancer of a particular type, it may indicate that you too are more vulnerable to such a condition. While it is not possible to modify your genetic structure, it is possible to get adequately screened for the disease which can help you catch it early on and improve your odds of recovery.
  3. Past Incidents Of Cancer Therapy – Treatment protocols like chemotherapy and radiation therapy are popular methods for managing most forms of carcinoma. Unfortunately, these methods have side effects which include mutation of your original cellular makeup, something that can make you more prone to secondary cancer.
  4. Age – With each passing year your exposure to environmental conditions that promote the growth of cancer cells in your body increases. Besides, your body’s immunity is reduced as you grow older. All these factors increase your cancer risk in the later years of your life.
  5. Lifestyle choices – Smoking, alcohol abuse and drug abuse are choices that can heighten your cancer risk immensely. Similarly, unhealthy habits like regularly consuming junk food, lack of physical activity, and prolonged, unprotected overexposure to UV radiations can prompt cancer cells to develop quickly.

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