Glossary Term:


risk factor



Anything that increases the chance of getting a disease such as cancer. Different cancers have different risk factors. For example, unprotected exposure to strong sunlight is a risk factor for skin cancer; smoking is a risk factor for lung, mouth, throat, and other cancers. Some risk factors, such as smoking and being inactive, can be controlled. Others, like a person’s age and gene mutations they were born with, can’t be changed.