Cancer is the biggest disease in nowadays, and predicting whether you’ll get it or not it’s not an easy task. We all know that the habits like smoking and tanning, majorly raise the risk, but otherwise it comes down to genes and good (or bad) luck, right?
But, maybe that’s not the case.
It was found in a recent study, published in the journal Nature, that as many as 70 to 90% of cancers are caused by so-called “extrinsic” or external factors—which include lifestyle habits as well as environmental exposures. So, what we want to say is that 70 to 90% of cancers have nothing to do with genes or a roll of the metaphorical dice.
It was made a research that was led by researchers from Stony Brook University, was actually a reanalysis of data released last year by scientists from Johns Hopkins, who found that about two-thirds of variations in the risk of developing cancer were due to random cell mutations—i.e., or in other words bad luck.
This new study, believe it or not found pretty much the opposite.
“This really started as a gut feeling, a reaction to those [‘bad luck’] findings,” explains senior author Yusuf Hannun, MD. “We knew it had to be wrong, and we are very confident in our data.”
Nothing is certain yet, because more researches shall be made, but, it’s worth noting that not all extrinsic risk factors are easy to control. “Everyone knows about smoking and cancer risk, and hopefully you never smoke or you quit,” says Hannun. He also advises watching your weight, limiting alcohol intake, eating a healthy diet, and wearing sunscreen. “But you may be living in a place where there is more radon in the environment, which is potentially modifiable by moving somewhere else. We all receive gamma radiation, but pilots receive more. It’s difficult to say that’s modifiable.”