Many people have no doubt made New Year’s resolutions to try to achieve healthier lifestyles and thus avoid life-threatening diseases such as cancer.
And while pursuing healthy eating habits, stopping smoking and engaging in regular exercise are certainly worthy pursuits, new research says they are not necessarily the biggest factors in helping to prevent that c-word diagnosis.
The prestigious Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore conducted the study, which found that the main reason behind most cases of cancer is random DNA mutations — essentially, according to a report at businessinsider.com, “plain old bad luck.”
…two-thirds of cancer incidence of various types can be blamed on random mutations and not heredity or risky habits like smoking.
The researchers said Thursday that random DNA mutations accumulating in various parts of the body during ordinary cell division were the prime culprits behind many cancer types.
Overall, the Johns Hopkins researchers attributed 65% of cancer incidence to random mutations in genes that can stimulate cancer growth.
They looked at 31 cancer types and found that 22 of them, including leukemia and pancreatic, bone, testicular, ovarian, and brain cancer, could be explained largely by these random mutations — essentially biological bad luck.
The Guardian explains the results of the groundbreaking study this way:
Good luck, rather than good genes, may be the key reason why some people are protected from certain cancers while others develop the disease….
But before you relegate your 2015 healthier living resolutions to the trash pile of abandoned good intentions, you might want to pay attention to the words of caution from one of the authors of this new study, as noted at foxnews.com:
Dr. Cristian Tomasetti, an assistant professor of oncology at Johns Hopkins and one of the study’s authors, told the Wall Street Journal that the study should not be taken as a repudiation of healthy lifestyles.
Dr. Tomasetti told The Journal that lung and skin cancer, for example, are clearly tied to factors such as smoking and sun exposure, and monitoring such behavior is key to avoiding a diagnosis.
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