Risk Factors and Cancer

The less alcohol you drink, the lower the risk for cancer. cdc.gov/cancer/alcohol/
Drinking alcohol raises your risk of getting six kinds of cancer. All types of alcoholic drinks are linked with cancer. The more you drink, the higher your cancer risk.
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Telling your doctor about your family health history is a first step to find out if you may have a higher cancer risk. It will help you and your doctor decide what tests you need, when to start, and how often to be tested.
Photo of a doctor giving an HPV vaccine to a boy while his mother looks on
Human papillomavirus (HPV) has been found to be associated with several kinds of cancer: cervical, vulvar, vaginal, penile, anal, and oropharyngeal (back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils).
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Being overweight or having obesity are linked with a higher risk of getting 13 types of cancer. These cancers make up 40% of all cancers diagnosed in the United States each year.
Smoking can cause cancer almost anywhere in your body. cdc.gov/cancer/tobacco/
Smoking tobacco products causes almost nine of every 10 cases of lung cancer, and also can cause cancer almost anywhere in your body.

CDC scientists and other experts explored ways to lower cancer risk at different ages: early childhood, adolescence, early adulthood, midlife, and older adulthood.

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Page last reviewed: February 18, 2021