Health, Zoomer Report

Cancer and Bad Luck

Cancer and Bad Luck featured image

It’s a question every cancer patient asks. What caused this? Did I do anything to bring this on myself? Two researchers from Johns Hopkins University have come up with a surprising answer. According to their work published in the journal Science, most cancer cases are caused by bad luck – the unfortunate result of random genetic mistakes, or mutations, that happen when healthy cells divide.

The researchers say these random mutations may account for two-thirds of the risk of getting many types of cancer, which means that the more tangible factors — heredity, the  environment, and lifestyle choices – account for only one-third.

The study authors had expected that chance played an important role, but they were surprised at how big it turned out to be. In fact, it’s about double what they anticipated.

The researchers believe this news will comfort most cancer patients who wonder if they could have done something to prevent the disease.

Smoking greatly increases the risk of lung cancer and some other forms of the disease, so avoiding that habit and eating a good diet are still important. But these findings underline that there’s no need to stress about everything we touch or eat.


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