A new study has found that two-thirds of cancers in adults are just due to the bad luck, while the remaining is the result of inherited genes and environmental factors.
The study was conducted by the researchers at Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.
For the study, the researchers created a statistical model measuring the proportion of cancer incidence, found in many tissue types, which are caused especially by random mutations occurring when stem cells divide.
“The findings suggested that all cancers are caused by a combination of bad luck, the heredity and environment, and we have developed a model that may help quantify how much of these three factors contribute to cancer development,” said study researcher Bert Vogelstein, M.D., a Clayton Professor of Oncology at the Johns Hopkins.
According to Vogelstein, a poor lifestyle can add more bad luck factor in the cancer development and to avoid this we should always follow a healthy lifestyle.
“Cancer-free longevity in people who are largely exposed to cancer-causing agents, like tobacco and cigarettes, is often attributed to their good genes, but the actual truth is that most of them simply had good luck,” he said.
The study group said that the cells often commit minor errors while copying themselves.
These errors are harmless and have the ability to cause cancerous cells. It was also found that the stem cells that take on these mistakes can further develop into many types of cells that up the chances of growth of cancer cells. More mistakes raise the risk of cancer, they concluded.
The researchers found that two-thirds of “adult cancer incidence across tissues” can be comprehended by such types of cell division errors.
The study suggested that as both habits and genes can predict the possibility of cancer, the only way to remain in safe and healthy conditions is early detection.
The study was jointly funded by the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research, the Virginia and DK Ludwig Fund for Cancer Research, the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute and the Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center.
The findings of the study were reported in the journal Science.