Most cancer cases are caused by environment and lifestyle choices

Most cancer cases are caused by environment and lifestyle choices

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the world. Many people assume that cancer is a product of bad luck or fortune. However, this is not the case, according to new research. The new study from Stony Brook University in New York shows that most cancer cases are caused by environment and lifestyle choices.

Previous research from Johns Hopkins University suggested that cancer was mostly caused by bad luck. Researcher Yusuf Hannun from Stony Brook did not buy this explanation, and wanted more information.

What they did was interesting, but I was startled by the conclusion,” Hannun said in a Nature news release.

Hannun and a team of researchers decided to conduct their own study.

The team found that in almost all cases analyzed, there was some type of environmental exposure to cancer causing substances. UV radiation exposure and smoking were high on the list of potential causes of cancer.

The researchers concluded that these environmental and lifestyle factors contributed to 70-90 percent of all cancer cases.

“External factors play a big role, and people cannot hide behind bad luck. They can’t smoke and say it’s bad luck if they have cancer…there is still an element of luck as not every smoker gets cancer, but they have stacked the odds against them,” Hannun told BBC.

Only 10-30 percent of cases were caused by random DNA mutations or “bad luck.”

“In summary, irrespective of whether a subpopulation or all dividing cells contribute to cancer, these results indicate that intrinsic factors do not play a major causal role,” the authors wrote.

The scientists concluded that “cancer risk is heavily influenced by extrinsic factors,” and that the results “are important for strategizing cancer prevention, research, and public health.”

The study showing that most cancer cases are caused by environment and lifestyle choices was published in the journal Nature.

Note: None of the information in our website is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. The content on our website is for educational purposes only.

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1. “Not Just Bad Luck: Most Cancer Cases Caused by Environment & Lifestyle Choices, New Study Says.” RT International. RT International, n.d. Web. 28 Dec. 2015.
2. “Substantial Contribution of Extrinsic Risk Factors to Cancer Development.” Nature. Nature, n.d. Web. 27 Dec. 2015.
3. “Cancer Facts and Statistics.” American Cancer Society. American Cancer Society, n.d. Web. 28 Dec. 2015.

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