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Risk Factor

Glossary

risk factor

Something that increases the chance of developing a disease. Some examples of risk factors for cancer are age, a family history of certain cancers, use of tobacco products, being exposed to radiation or certain chemicals, infection with certain viruses or bacteria, and certain genetic changes.

Last updated: 2014-02-26

Source: The National Cancer Institute's Dictionary of Cancer Terms (http://www.cancer.gov/dictionary)