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Cancer Study: Bad Luck With DNA Accounts for Two-Thirds of Cases

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A new cancer study says bad luck with gene mutations may be to blame for two-thirds of cancer cases. (Kts/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Friday, 24 Mar 2017 04:29 PM

A new cancer study showed bad luck in the form of random gene mutations accounts for about two-thirds of all cancers, rather than lifestyle factors or heredity.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins published a new study Thursday in the journal Science that posited the two-thirds number based on a mathematical model that scientists will no doubt debate for a long time to come.

Multiple mutations are necessary for cancers to form, and some mutations may be caused by a poor diet, lack of exercise, or inherited genetic flaws. But the new study claimed random copy errors, which occur during the normal process of cell multiplication, are the cause of a full 66 percent of all mutations that occur.

Study authors Cristian Tomasetti and Dr. Bert Vogelstein don’t mean to suggest that lifestyle and inherited genes don’t matter, CNN noted. Because at least three mutations must typically occur, random errors will often combine with mutations caused by eating poorly or being sedentary to push cancer development forward when it otherwise might not have happened.

Still, having a number of random errors does cause cancer on its own in some cases, which explains cancer cases where the patient seemed to do everything right with diet and exercise, had no inherited gene flaws, and still got cancer, CNN said.

Twitter responded to the controversial research with a mixture of curiosity and criticism.

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A new cancer study showed bad luck in the form of random gene mutations accounts for about two-thirds of all cancers, rather than lifestyle factors or heredity.
cancer, study, bad luck
314
2017-29-24
Friday, 24 Mar 2017 04:29 PM
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