The health advocates in our lives often warn us about the things that raise our risk for cancer. The long list of things that may raise that risk can be confusing, but an eye-opening interactive graphic from the website The Conversation clears up a whole lot.
The "body map" allows users to choose their gender and then select from a list of modifiable risk factors, divided into categories: food and beverage, lifestyle and behaviour, disease and illness, and medication and treatment. The kinds of factors you can't necessarily change (yet), like DNA or where you live, are not included. When you select one of the factors, say, drinking alcohol, body parts appear on the map. Scroll over those parts to see the chances a man or woman "in the developed world" has of contracting that type of cancer and how much the relative risk goes up with the chosen factor.
"A woman living in the developed world has around a 0.4% chance of getting liver cancer in her lifetime," the map states. "If she drinks one standard alcoholic drink per day, her risk of liver cancer is 10% higher than that of a woman who doesn't drink."
The authors emphasise the importance of understanding relative risk over absolute risk. It's not that a woman who drinks has a 10% risk of developing liver cancer, but rather that she has a .44% risk compared to the nondrinker's .4%.
If you'd like to pinpoint your own risk factors, head over to The Conversation for its interactive body map.