Because Knowing Is A Big Piece
Of The Puzzle
A risk factor is anything that affects a person’s chance of getting a disease such as cancer. Different cancers have different risk factors. Some risk factors, like sun exposure, can be controlled. Others, like a person’s age or family history, can’t be changed.
But risk factors don’t tell us everything. Having a risk factor, or even many risk factors, does not mean that you will get the disease. And many people who get the disease may not have had any known risk factors. Even if a person with basal or squamous cell skin cancer has a risk factor, it is often very hard to know what part that risk factor may have played in getting the cancer.