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Cancer risk is primarily based on individual risk factors. Research suggests that at least 40% of all cancers are due to lifestyle factors such as tobacco use, diet, physical inactivity, and alcohol use. Other important individual risk factors are age, workplace exposures, family history and personal medical history, including radiation exposure and infections. Individual risk factors affect people over their lifetime, and when people move, they carry their individual risks with them.

Cancer is a very common disease. In New York State, one out of every two men, and one of every three women, will be diagnosed with cancer at some time in their lives.

There are actions you can take to reduce your risk of getting cancer. Changing your lifestyle by quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, limiting alcohol use and exercising regularly may significantly reduce your risk. Additional information on reducing risk for specific types of cancer is available at Learn More About Different Types of Cancers.

Talk with your health care provider about recommended cancer screenings. Getting screening tests regularly may find certain cancers early, when treatment is likely to work best.

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