New Study Confirms That “Bad Luck” Is The Leading Cause of Cancer

Random mutations are the single biggest factor in causing cancer, researchers reaffirmed Thursday.

About two-thirds of the genetic mutations that lead to cancer happen simply because of random errors made as cells divide and not because of diet, chemicals or inherited genes, the team at Johns Hopkins University said.

“We hope that this research offers comfort to the literally millions of patients who have had cancer but who have lived nearly perfect lifestyle — who have never smoked, who have avoided the sun … who exercise regularly,” Dr. Bert Vogelstein of the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center told a news conference.

“It’s not your fault. Nothing you did or didn’t do was responsible for your illness.”

And Vogelstein says he really wants to reassure parents whose children get cancer. Most childhood cancer is caused by random mutations, he said.

“They need to understand that these cancers would have occurred no matter what they did. We don’t need to add guilt to an already tragic situation.”

More importantly, it means everyone needs to be screened for cancer when possible even if they think they’re at low risk because of family history and their own healthy habits, Vogelstein said, because their findings mean everyone’s at risk of cancer, the No. 2 killer in the United States.

“It’s not your fault. Nothing you did or didn’t do was responsible for your illness.”

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  • Well that sucks I was hoping it was the actions of a vengeful Jehovah!

    • Drunk_by_Noon

      No kidding!
      In roughly 2/3rds of the cases (not all cancers are the same and so your mileage may vary) it doesn’t matter what you ate, or your exposure to environmental factors.
      Smoking is still a high correlation to lung cancer, but not as much as simple replication errors.
      Wow!

  • jayme

    So if the natural repair and replenishment of cells is associated with cancer risk, then those people for whom such repairs occur more frequently would be at higher risk. Offhand, that would seem to me to be people engaged in physical labor, sports (particularly, body building where the object is to continually break down the muscles and rebuild them as stronger muscles).

    So, in other words, it would appear that exercise – at least certain types like strength training – increases one’s risk of cancer. Interesting. (I guess if you don’t want to get cancer, don’t live: it’s highly likely to happen to you if you live a long enough life.)

  • It is said that gene therapy could stop this.

  • Bataviawillem

    Shit, I stopped smoking a long time ago, and I really liked it.

    • Drunk_by_Noon

      Me too!
      It was the only thing that kept me interested in getting out of bed in the morning.

    • k1962

      Yeah, well at least you are reducing your risk of emphysema another killer.

  • Jaedo Drax

    How do you replicate a study like this?