Risk factors identified for cancer fall under two categories lifestyle choices that can be changed and inherited traits that you are born with and can not change. But risk factors don't tell us everything, because you have a risk factor does not mean you will have cancer and because you have cancer it does not mean the risk factor contributed to the cancer.
It is highly recommended that both men and women work with their family doctor to develop a plan for assessing their risk for various types of cancer.
Risk Factors that can not be changed include - age, sex, and family history. Risk factors that you can change in order to reduce your risk of cancer include - use of tobacco or alcohol, eating habits, and exposure to the sun.
Different types of cancer have different risk factors. Click on the type of cancer below to see the cooresponding risk factors.
People who are at increased risk of cancer should be screened earlier and more often than those who are at average risk for cancer. For an overview of the guidelines for detecting cancer download the Cancer Screening Recommendations.