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Risk Factor - Any variable associated with an increased risk of developing a disease. Different cancers have different risk factors. Some common risk factors for cancer may include lifestyle choices (such as smoking, drinking, lack of exercise, and an unhealthy diet), static factors (such as genetic makeup, family history, age, and gender), as well as exposure to radiation or other cancer-causing agents. While having a risk factor increases the likelihood of developing a disease, it does not necessarily mean a disease will develop.
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