Friday, May 20, 2016

New Study Concludes Lifestyle Is Primary Cause of Cancer

Cancer is a killer. Many individuals and families have experienced its devastating effects, and many more will in the future. But there's reason for optimism.

New research reveals that cancer isn't a matter of bad luck and frequently can be avoided by adopting better personal habits such as maintaining a healthy weight, regular exercise, stopping smoking and reducing alcohol consumption.

Yes, the conclusions reached in a just released study are provide realistic reasons for hope.  

Lifestyle gets blamed for 70% to 90% of all cancers is subtitled 'For the most part, 'bad luck' isn't responsible for cancer:'

"Do most people who get cancer simply have bad luck? Or is cancer something they might be able to prevent? Two new studies suggest the latter.

A study published online Friday in the Journal of the American Medical Association Oncology found that between 40 - 70% of cancer cases could be prevented if we changed our lifestyles by doing things like staying at a healthy weight, quitting smoking, reducing alcohol consumption and getting 2 ½ hours of exercise a week. “A large proportion of cancers are due to environmental factors and can be prevented by lifestyle modification,” the authors concluded.

Another study, whose results were recently published in Nature, revealed that it is mostly environmental and external factors like smoking, drinking, diet, getting too much sun and exposure to toxic chemicals that cause cancer, rather than intrinsic factors like random cell mutations.

Intrinsic factors accounted for just 10% to 30% of people’s lifetime risk of getting cancer, while extrinsic risks accounted for 70% to 90% for most common cancer types, the study showed. “Cancer risk is heavily influenced by extrinsic factors,” the study researchers, who work at Stony Brook University in New York, concluded.
Source: Nature
That’s good news for many, as it means that cancer might be more avoidable — through changes in our lifestyles — than we previously thought. “Environmental factors play an important role in cancer incidence and they are modifiable through lifestyle changes and/or vaccinations,” the researchers write in Nature. Or as the researchers in JAMA Oncology put it: “A substantial cancer burden may be prevented through lifestyle modification.”

Many experts cheered this finding. “There’s no question what’s at stake here,” John Potter, a doctor who studies cancer at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, told Nature. “This informs whether or not we expend energy on prevention.” The authors of the study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Oncology noted that “prevention should remain a priority for cancer control.”

These conclusions do fly in the face of other cancer research.

A report in the journal Science published earlier in 2015 concluded just the opposite: that roughly two-thirds of cancers were caused by intrinsic factors. (These findings came to be known as the “bad luck” hypothesis.)

But the Stony Brook researchers concluded that the incidence of cancer is too high for that to be true. “The rates of mutation accumulation by intrinsic processes are not sufficient to account for the observed cancer risks,” they write in the study published in Nature.

Summing Up

I just saw these findings and wanted to share the good news.

We often can create a better future for ourselves just by knowing the knowable and then using that knowledge to adopt behaviors which are in our best interests as well as those of our families.

And that 'knowledge is power' thing goes for oh so many things, including the avoidance of cancer.

That's my take.

Thanks. Bob.

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