Causes and risk factors

We don't know exactly what causes many cancers. But there are things that can increase your risk of getting cancer. Find out what these might be and the possible changes you could make to reduce your risk.

  • Potential causes of cancer

    Find out about what can increase your risk of getting cancer, what to look out for and the changes you could make to reduce your risk.

  • Family history

    Some cancers can be related to the genes that were passed down from your parents.

  • Genetic conditions and inherited cancers

    You might be offered the chance to test for some genetic conditions. It's important to understand what might happen and the effect any possible results might have.

  • Pre-cancerous conditions

    Pre-cancerous conditions are diseases or syndromes that might develop into a cancer, so it’s important to monitor your health.

  • Risk-reducing breast surgery

    If you have an increased risk of breast cancer you might be offered surgery to reduce the risk.

Claire, diagnosed with brain Cancer, hugs Shez, her Macmillan nurse.

Cancer Matters

Ahead of the General Election, we asked Macmillan campaigners and supporters to email their candidates and let them know that cancer matters.

Find out more