Most Cancer Types Can Be Bad Luck

Most Cancer Types Can Be Bad LuckMost Cancer Types Can Be Bad Luck

Most types of cancer can be put down to bad luck rather than risk factors such as smoking, a study has suggested.

A US team tried to unearth why some tissues are millions of times more vulnerable to cancer than others. The results, published in the journal Science, showed two thirds of the cancer types analyzed were caused just by chance mutations rather than lifestyle, BBC reported.

However some of the most common and deadly cancers are still heavily influenced by lifestyle. Cancer Research UK said a healthy lifestyle would still heavily stack the odds in a person's favor.

All cancer has an element of chance - a roll of the dice that decides whether the DNA acquires a mutation that leads to cancer. The study shows that two thirds of cancer types are simply chance. But the remaining third are still heavily influenced by everyday choices.

Consumption of alcohol, overexposure to the sun or being overweight are among reasons that triggers cancer. More importantly, reports suggest that smoking accounts for a fifth of all cancers worldwide. According to these findings, 6.9% of people in the US develop lung cancer, 0.6% brain cancer and 0.00072% get tumors in their laryngeal (voice box) cartilage at some point in their lifetime. Toxins from cigarette smoke could explain why lung cancer is more common. "If two thirds of cancer incidence across tissues is explained by random DNA mutations that occur when stem cells divide, then changing our lifestyle and habits will be a huge help in preventing certain cancers, but this may not be as effective for a variety of others," the report reads. "We should focus more resources on finding ways to detect such cancers at early, curable stages."