05 January

A new study has shown that some cancers are down to just a bad chance rather than genetic mutations.

Dr. Bert Vogelstein and Cristian Tomasetti, PhD, publish their findings in the journal Science. Researchers claim 65% of cancer cases are a result of random DNA mutations, while the remaining 35% can be explained by a combination of these mutations and environmental and hereditary factors. [1]

However, the researchers are not denying that lifestyle does not affect the chance of some cancers. Smoking, drinking and poor diet can still progress to the disease.

Cancer research still heavily believe in warning against the remaining third chances, such as; sun exposure, being overweight, etc. We must still take care of ourselves to avoid damaging our cells even further, despite the possibilities of still simply receiving some bad luck.

The researchers explained how this ‘bad luck’ can occur:

Old tired cells in the body are constantly being replaced with new ones made by dividing stem cells. But with each division comes the risk of a dangerous mutation that moves the stem cell one step closer to being cancerous…[Researcher’s] concluded that two thirds of cancer types were “due to bad luck” from dividing stem cells picking up mutations that could not be prevented. [2]

This again would really be down to everyone’s individual body clocks. Unfortunately this cannot be measured or controlled. The body works to protect you, but in some unfortunate cases this can backfire on the body.

Due to this problem, researches suggested we should not primarily focus on the prevention of cancer – for only a third would be monitored this way. But we should start a process of how we manage early detection of the disease, in a state that is curable.
We must not diminish, nor forget those new ambitions to stay healthy. Nor should we feel disheartened, but another reminder perhaps, to live sensibly, and on the odd occasion, it really is ok to indulge ourselves.

But what are your thoughts on this new study? We want to know your thoughts.

[1] Whiteman, H. (2015). Two thirds of cancer cases down to ‘bad luck,’ new study claims. Medical News Today. Available at: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/287542.php

[2] BBC News, (2015). Most cancer types ‘just bad luck’. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-30641833

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