Unhealthy living responsible for cancer, not your DNA: Study
According to researchers, factors in the world around us, from diet to sunlight, cigarettes and disease play a significant role in fuelling cancer than DNA.
While this may not seem surprising, scientists have long been divided over the issue. The controversy was stoked last year when researchers claimed that most cancer cases are caused by errors in DNA that are generated at random as the body ages and its cells divide. The study concluded that this meant most cases of the disease are down to ‘bad luck’, rather than living an unhealthy lifestyle. The latest study used some of the same data as the first piece of research – however it came to the opposite conclusion.
Writing in the journal, Nature, Dr. Yusuf Hannun, of Stony Brook University in the US, said that while luck plays a role, factors in the world around us are far more important. These include our diet, alcohol intake, whether we smoke, getting sunburn, some viruses, pollution and possibly other factors that have yet to be identified. In the study, he claimed that the genes we inherit from our parents actually only account for a very small number of cancer cases. He concluded: “These results are important for strategising cancer prevention, research and public health.’
By Bunmi Sofola