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There are a lot of myths about your risk for cancer.

What someone does as a young adult has little impact on their chances of getting cancer later in life is one such myth. About one-quarter of those surveyed seem to be denying this reality
Most cases of cancer are the consequence of many years of exposure to several risk factors. What you eat, whether you are physically active, whether you get sunburned regularly, and especially, whether you smoke as a young person have a substantial influence on whether you develop cancer later in life.

More than two-thirds of all fatal cancer cases can be prevented with simple lifestyle changes:

  • Eating lots of fruit, vegetables and whole grains
  • Exercising
  • Maintaining a healthy body weight
  • Using protection against the sun
  • And especially, not smoking

The decisions young people make about using tobacco will have the most profound impact on their chances of developing cancer later in life. Smoking causes 30 percent of all cancer deaths and about 440,000 premature deaths annually.