‘Bad luck’ mutations boost cancer risk more than one’s behavior: research

‘Bad luck’ mutations boost cancer risk more than one’s behavior: research

A new research has suggested that genetic mutations that develop into cancer are caused by simple random errors occurring during replacement of cells, indicating that ‘bad luck’ mutations boost cancer risk more than one’s behavior.

A team of researchers led by Dr. Bert Vogelstein, a cancer geneticist at Johns Hopkins University, found that 66 per cent of the genetic mutations developing into cancer are caused by simple random errors that take place when cells replace themselves.

On the other hand, environmental factors were found to be contributing only 29 per cent of mutations. The remaining 5 per cent of mutations are inherited.

Dr. Vogelstein said in a statement, “Every time a perfectly normal cell divides, as you all know, it makes several mistakes — mutations. Now most of the time, these mutations don't do any harm … Occasionally, one of these random miscopies will occur in a cancer-driving gene. That’s bad luck.”

The research described how dumb luck plays a bigger role than environmental, lifestyle as well as hereditary factors in causing the deadly disease.

The researchers reported their findings in the most recent edition of the journal Science.

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