What is your risk for cancer?

(Hint: The real risk is in not knowing.)

Know your cancer risk factors so you can manage them.

For each of us, there are things we can do and things we can manage to decrease our chances of developing cancer. And it all starts with an awareness of the things in our lives that make us more vulnerable.

Some of these things we can change, and some of them we can monitor to ensure that we stay on top of our health. All of it is doable, if you’ll just take the time. And there’s no better time than now to increase your personal risk-factor knowledge.

Bellin takes every possible precaution to prevent the spread of COVID-19. All cancer screenings take place far away from areas where COVID-19 patients are treated, and all rooms and equipment are thoroughly and regularly disinfected and cleaned. Staff members always wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure the safety of our patients.

Bellin Health is a proud sponsor and team member of Packers vs. Cancer. Together, along with the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation, we are raising awareness and raising money to help make cancer in all its forms a thing of the past.

Risk Factors for Cancer

Family History

Your risk of developing cancer can be an inherited one. Genetics play a major role in about five to 10 percent of all cancers. According to the National Cancer Institute, researchers have identified more than 50 hereditary cancer syndromes, which are disorders that might increase your risk of developing certain cancers like breast cancer.

Genetic testing is a way for you to know if you’ve inherited a gene that puts you at risk. To find out more about genetic testing, contact The Cancer Team at Bellin Health. We’ll answer all your questions and help you decide if genetic testing is right for you.

Lifestyle and Behaviors

Here are just a few of the most well-known risk factors for developing certain kinds of cancer. Some of these risk factors can be avoided, and by doing so, you can lower your risk of developing certain cancers.


According to the most recent statistical data from a National Cancer Institute study, the median age of a cancer diagnosis is 66 years. This means that half of cancer cases occur in people below this age and half in people above this age. One-quarter of new cancer cases are diagnosed in people aged 65 to 74. So, while cancer can occur at any age, the risk of certain cancers increases with age. Here are just some specifics:

  • 61 is the median age to be diagnosed with breast cancer
  • 66 is the median age to be diagnosed with prostate cancer
  • 68 is the median age to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer
  • 70 is the median age to be diagnosed with lung cancer


If you are a man who drinks more than two drinks a day or a woman who has more than one drink a day, you are elevating your risk of cancer.

Chronic Inflammation

Some chronic diseases like ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s Disease can increase your chances of cancer.


What you eat can play a big role in lowering your chances of cancer. Consult with your physician on ways you can modify your diet to actually help reduce your risk of cancer.


People who are obese may have an increased risk of several types of cancer, including cancers of the breast, colon, rectum, uterus, esophagus, kidney, pancreas and gallbladder.


Even though skin cancer is more common among people with a light skin tone, people of all skin tones can develop skin cancer, including those with dark skin.


Tobacco is a leading cause of cancer and of death from cancer. People who use tobacco products or who are regularly around second hand tobacco smoke have an increased risk of cancer.

Early detection saves lives.

If you have a family history of cancer, engage in any of the activities or behaviors that increase your risk of cancer or are just at an age in life where we know the risk of cancer naturally increases, contact The Cancer Team at Bellin Health and ask about cancer screenings. Cancer screenings are a powerful way to detect cancer early, sometimes even before you have symptoms.

600,000 Stories

Dave Firnett had always led a healthy life. That changed when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Watch Dave's story.