When it comes to cancer, the change in the manner in which genes control the usual functioning of normal cells, results in the creation of malignant cells. Essentially, the genetic change that occur in normal cells entails corrupted instructions within the genes that inform the proteins that work in the cells to function abnormally in terms of cell growth. The corrupted instructions from the genes lead to production of abnormally excess protein or non-functional protein. The changes are based in the DNA repair genes, tumour suppressor genes, and proto-oncogenes; and they may involve; a missing nucleotide within the DNA, replacement of one nucleotide with a different one, rearrangements, duplications and deletions of long DNA stretches. Epigenetic modifications within the aforementioned genes also lead to normal cells transforming to become malignant.

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Apart from inherited genetic changes that cause normal cells to become malignant, environmental factors and dietary choices are linked with the development of cancer, and this is referred to as somatic changes. These changes occur after an individual is exposed to substances that would eventually damage the DNA. Carcinogenetic substances from the environment include chemicals such as beryllium, cadmium, erionite, aflatoxins, asbestos, nickel compounds and not limited to tobacco smoke, and also ultraviolet rays from the sun, which unveil radiation. Dietary risks of cancer result from the consumption of salt-preserved foods, processed foods, and exorbitant amounts of red meat.

The public can reduce acquiring cancer by avoiding being exposed to cancer risk factors. The first action to take to avoid cancer is eating healthy foods that have not been highly salted or processed. In this case, it is better to consume white meat than red meat. Also, the consumption of vegetables is deeply advised. Secondly, the public should avoid being exposed to carcinogenic substances especially tobacco smoke, various industrial chemical compounds, and radiation. Thirdly, the public should embrace history taking by medical practitioners in order to determine if one has inherited cancerous cells.