According to a new study from John Hopkins University, many common cancers are mostly caused by “bad luck.” read more on UPI:
“All cancers are caused by a combination of bad luck, the environment and heredity, and we’ve created a model that may help quantify how much of these three factors contribute to cancer development,” said Bert Vogelstein, M.D., the Clayton Professor of Oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Scientists already knew that when cells copy themselves they often make minor errors, but while these errors are often harmless, they can also cause cancer to form, the researchers found. They observed stem cells that take on these errors can turn into many kinds of cells, which make them more likely to become cancer cells. The more mistakes add up, the more likely cancer will occur.
The researchers found two-thirds of “adult cancer incidence across tissues” can be explained by such cell division errors.
“Cancer-free longevity in people exposed to cancer-causing agents, such as tobacco, is often attributed to their ‘good genes,’ but the truth is that most of them simply had good luck,” said Vogelstein.