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We are Macmillan. Cancer Support
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People sometimes worry about whether they might get cancer and whether they can do anything to reduce their risk. Usually, when a person has a cancer, the specific reason why it developed isn’t known. But we do know some things which may increase the risk of developing a cancer. Some of them – such as our lifestyle – we can do something about. Others, such as our genes, we may not be able to change.
Get information about some possible causes of cancer including diet and lifestyle, environmental and occupational factors, viruses and the immune system
Some medical conditions occasionally go on to develop into a cancer, or might indicate that a cancer is present.
Some cancers, such as breast, bowel and ovarian cancer, can run in families. But only between 5 and 10% of cancers are thought to be due to an inherited faulty gene.
Read about how health and lifestyle choices can affect your chance of developing cancer
For answers, support or just a chat, call the Macmillan Support Line free (Monday to Friday, 9am-8pm).
Get advice for printing webpages and PDFs from our site.
If you have any questions about cancer, need support or just want someone to talk to, ask Macmillan.
Your donation could help us make a real difference to people living with cancer.
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© Macmillan Cancer Support 2014
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