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BBC News - Most cancer types 'just bad luck'

HEALTH
2January2015Lastupdatedat09:03GMT

Mostcancertypes'justbadluck'
COMMENTS(253)

ByJamesGallagher

Healtheditor,BBCNewswebsite

Mosttypesofcancercanbeputdowntobadluckratherthanriskfactorssuchassmoking,astudyhassuggested.
AUSteamweretryingtoexplainwhysometissuesweremillionsoftimesmorevulnerabletocancerthanothers.
Theresults,inthejournalScience,showedtwothirdsofthecancertypesanalysedwerecausedjustbychancemutations
ratherthanlifestyle.
Howeversomeofthemostcommonanddeadlycancersarestillheavilyinfluencedbylifestyle.
AndCancerResearchUKsaidahealthylifestylewouldstillheavilystacktheoddsinaperson'sfavour.

Timetothrowcautiontothewind?

Soisittimetolightup,drinkandeatwhatyouwantwithoutacareintheworld?
Itwon'tcomeasasurprisethattheanswerisno.
AllcancerhasanelementofchancearollofthedicethatdecideswhetheryourDNAacquiresamutationthatleadstocancer.
Thestudyshowsthattwothirdsofcancertypesaresimplychance.
Buttheremainingthirdarestillheavilyinfluencedbythechoiceswemake.
Toomuchbooze,timeinthesunorbeingoverweightmeanweareplayingwithloadeddiceandtheoddsarenotinourfavour.
Remembersmokingaccountsforafifthofallcancersworldwide.
Thesefindingsareareminderthatcancerisoftenjustbadluckandtheonlyoptionisearlydetection.
Butthat'snotanexcusetogiveuponthosenewyear'sresolutionsalready.
IntheUS,6.9%ofpeopledeveloplungcancer,0.6%braincancerand0.00072%gettumoursintheirlaryngeal(voicebox)
cartilageatsomepointintheirlifetime.
Toxinsfromcigarettesmokecouldexplainwhylungcancerismorecommon.
Butthedigestivesystemisexposedtomoreenvironmentaltoxinsthanthebrain,yetbraintumoursarethreetimesascommon
asthoseinthesmallintestine.

Rootofcancer

TheteamatJohnsHopkinsUniversitySchoolofMedicineandBloombergSchoolofPublicHealthbelievethewaytissues
regenerateistheanswer.

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-30641833

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1/2/2015

BBC News - Most cancer types 'just bad luck'

Oldtiredcellsinthebodyareconstantlybeingreplacedwithnewonesmadebydividingstemcells.
Butwitheachdivisioncomestheriskofadangerousmutationthatmovesthestemcellonestepclosertobeingcancerous.
Thepaceofturnovervariesthroughoutthebodywithrapidturnoverintheliningofthegutandaslowerpaceinthebrain.
Theresearcherscomparedhowoftenstemcellsdividedin31tissuesinthebodyoveralifetimewiththeoddsofacancerin
thosetissues.
Theyconcludedthattwothirdsofcancertypeswere"duetobadluck"fromdividingstemcellspickingupmutationsthatcould
notbeprevented.
ThesecancertypesincludedGlioblastoma(braincancers),smallintestinecancersandpancreaticcancers.
CristianTomasetti,anassistantprofessorofoncologyandoneoftheresearchers,saidafocusonpreventionwouldnot
preventsuchcancers.
"IftwothirdsofcancerincidenceacrosstissuesisexplainedbyrandomDNAmutationsthatoccurwhenstemcellsdivide,then
changingourlifestyleandhabitswillbeahugehelpinpreventingcertaincancers,butthismaynotbeaseffectiveforavarietyof
others.
"Weshouldfocusmoreresourcesonfindingwaystodetectsuchcancersatearly,curablestages."

Poorlifestyle

Theremainingthirdofcancertypes,whichareaffectedbylifestylefactors,virusesoraheightenedfamilyrisk,includesomeof
themostcommon:

BasalcellcarcinomaatypeofskincancermademorecommonbytoomuchUVexposure
Lungcancerstronglylinkedtosmoking
Coloncancerincreasedbypoordietandfamilyriskgenes
Twocommontypesofcancerbreastandprostatewerenotanalysedastheresearcherscouldnotfindaconsistentrateof
stemcelldivisioninthosetissues.
SeparateresearchbyCancerResearchUKshowsmorethanfourin10ofthetotalnumberofcancersweredowntolifestyle.
DrEmmaSmith,seniorscienceinformationofficeratthecharity,toldtheBBC:"Weestimatethatmorethanfourin10cancers
couldbepreventedbylifestylechanges,likenotsmoking,keepingahealthyweight,eatingahealthydietandcuttingbackon
alcohol.
"Makingthesechangesisnotaguaranteeagainstcancer,butitstackstheoddsinourfavour.
"It'svitalthatwecontinuemakingprogresstodetectcancerearlierandimprovetreatments,buthelpingpeopleunderstandhow
theycanreducetheirriskofdevelopingcancerinthefirstplaceremainscrucialintacklingcancer."

Yourcomments(253)

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-30641833

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Editors'Picks AllComments(253)

219.TheBlueEnglishman

19MINUTESAGO

+7

Americanscientistsdeterminemostcancertypesare'justbadluck'.
IknowthegovernmenthealthNazisandthefitnessempireswhomakea
fortuneoutofpeoplesfearswon'tlikeit,buthavinglosttoomany'healthy'
friendstothisdiseaseIhavetoagreewiththem.
LifeisagameofRussianRoulette,getusedtoitandmayyourchamber
alwaysbeempty.

217.Mukkinese

19MINUTESAGO

+5

"Smokingcausesafifthofallcancersworldwide"
Doesit?Orisitmerelythatafifthofallcancersareattributedtosmoking,
eitherwhollyorpartly?
Distortionofthefactsissorifethatwedonotreallyknowwhatthereal
risksare...

212.DodgyDaveConman

20MINUTESAGO

+2

Astherearecancerfreesocieties,albeitlivinginmoreremoteregions,
therecanbenoluckinvolvedforthesepeople.
Perhapstheir"luck"iscleanair,zeroeverydayhouseholdchemicals,earth
thathasn'tsufferedmineraldepletionbychemicalcompanies,therefore
pesticideandherbicidefreefoodandalltheothercarcinogensinthe
dreamworldofmanufacturingandproductivity.

211.MikeSymonds
20MINUTESAGO

Idon'tbelieveinluck(tomeit'sakintobelievinginGod,whichisperfectly
okforpeopletodo,Ijustdonot).Ifinditinterestingthatanyscientist,or
mathematicianwouldeverinvolveluckasafactor.Probability,nowthat's
anentirelydifferentmatter.Inanyevent,itisnotabouthowwedie,or
evenwhen,it'saboutwhatwedoonthewaythere.

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-30641833

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BBC News - Most cancer types 'just bad luck'

192.Letsbe_avenue

30MINUTESAGO

"Theyconcludedthattwothirdsofcancertypeswere"due
tobadluck"fromdividingstemcellspickingupmutationsthatcouldnotbe
prevented."
Whatsortofstatementisthisfromagroupof"scientists"?
Aretheystudyingthescienceofluck?
Whattheymeanistheyhavestudiedthedataandcannotidentifywhatis
causinggenemutation,saying"it'sjustbadluckmate"isprettypoor.

Comments5of7

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