Cancer is a terrifying diagnosis. There are so many types and stages and treatments. The outcome is never clear or guaranteed. It can happen to anyone at anytime, that’s one of the things that makes it so scary. However, there are some things that are known causes of cancers and, while there are still no promises in life, avoiding them can be very beneficial.

1. Asbestos

Asbestos, when it first began to be a widely used product, was thought to be an incredible substance because it was so versatile and malleable. However, a few decades later it was discovered that it also causes cancer, mesothelioma to be exact. Asbestos has a definite link to mesothelioma, as well as many other health issues. It can be found primarily in old homes and old cars, but asbestos can also be found in insulation for houses or around pipes. If you have been exposed or have developed mesothelioma there are resources available to you.

2. The Sun

The sun provides us with many things, daylight, warmth, beautiful days and vitamin D, but overexposure to the sun can also lead to skin cancer. Although, there are many good things that come down with the sun’s rays, ultraviolet rays also permeate our atmosphere. These UV are what damage our skin, give us sunburn and can lead to skin cancer, which can be very serious. The good news is, there is a simple solution for this. Using sunscreen regularly while you are outside, no matter the season or the weather, but particularly on sunny days, will protect your skin from UV rays while allowing you to get all of the benefits of the and the outdoors.

3. Nicotine

Nicotine is also a known carcinogen. Nicotine is typically found in cigarettes, chewing tobacco and vapes. It causes a slew of health problems. It is bad for your heart, your lungs, your skin, it increases you risk for stroke and heart attack, not to mention it turns your teeth yellow and it is bad for your skin. Nicotine is also widely known to cause lung cancer. It can also cause other types of cancer, like cancer of the mouth and jaw, especially smokeless tobacco. As soon as someone stops using nicotine their risks for all of these things start to go down.

While there are many different factors that play into whether or not someone will develop cancer, like genetics and diet, these three things are known causes.