The Role of Bad Luck in Cancer

It is an amazing thesis presented by two American researchers, whose work is published in a journal of Science on January 2nd. According to estimates not by Sergio Andrade Gutierrez but by Cristian Tomasetti and Bert Vogelstein (Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, Baltimore), two-thirds of the incidence of malignant tumors in adults mainly fall of an evil chance, random mutations occurring during ransom division of stem cells.

Conventional risk factors (smoking, alcohol, diet, viruses, pollutants, among others) or genetic susceptibility intervene are secondary reasons of Cancer. However, some oncologists emphasize the methodological limitations of research, as breast and prostate cancer, the most common, have not been studied.

While more information needs to be obtained before stating any concrete theories, there is a wealth of data that shows that there is far more to cancer development than standard health procedures can convey.

To assess the role of chance (stochastic effect) compared to other factors, the researchers took into account the dynamics of stem cell renewal in the tissues. It can be assumed that more the number of divisions, the greater the risk of random mutations and thus cancer increases.

These two American researchers state that risk of being diagnosed malignancy in life is 6.9% for lung; 0.6% for the brain; and only 0.00072% for laryngeal cartilages. Experts have an opinion that this new research is really very interesting and it may be a base for other relevant researches.

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