Two-thirds of adult cancers largely ‘down to bad luck’ rather than genes

Introduction — Jan 2, 2015

Colon cancer cell

Colon cancer cell

If nothing else, the findings of the “scientific study” reported below signal the impending redundancy of the scientific materialist view. To claim that cancer is attributable to “bad luck” is like saying that two people who lived on the same street and who contracted cancer is a coincidence.
And as a mentor once said: “there is no such thing as coincidence.”
The same could be said of the vague, variable concept of “luck”. There is however the known and demonstrable fact of cause and effect; although sometimes there is such a wide interval the two that it’s difficult to see what links them.
The ancients had a word for it though, they called it karma. It can manifest across decades or lifetimes and it demonstrates cause and effect at work and it has a bearing on our health.
Another factor that has a direct bearing on our physical health is our emotional and mental well being. Our thoughts, feelings and emotions are intimately connected and it is no coincidence that mental depression and emotional despondency often seems to often go hand-in-hand with physical decline and disease. Or that positive emotions and optimism invariably accompany good health.
The physical, emotional and mental aspect of our being are all distinct but intimately interconnected. Balanced and in harmony they manifest as “joie de vivre”, or what Traditional Chinese Medicine refers to as “Chi”, life force.
It cannot be materially measured but it can be felt.
The scientists who conducted the study reported on below might dismiss the very notion because it couldn’t be physically quantified. Preferring instead to attribute to “luck” what won’t fit into their scientific materialist view of the world.
Perhaps that is why modern medicine is still looking for a cure for cancer? Because it has restricted its search to the physical realm of the here and now. When in fact the root cause of the disease may lie in mental and emotional activity that took place in previous lives and is only manifesting now in the physical body.
For better or for worse, everything is interconnected.
Like the medieval theologians, who would debate how many angels could dance on a pin head, many modern scientists have become shrouded in a world view formed by the dictates of scientific materialism. They are beholden to their superiors in the scientific establishment and unless they tow the line their careers may flounder.
Although scientific materialism is now the prevalent school of thought, have those who administer its dictates, in effect, replaced the clergy as the modern arbiters of truth? Are they, and the body of thought they represent about to follow a similar fate?

Two-thirds of adult cancers largely ‘down to bad luck’ rather than genes

Sarah Boseley — Jan 2, 2015

Good luck, rather than good genes, may be the key reason why some people are protected from certain cancers while others develop the disease, according to a new study.

Two-thirds of adult cancers, say the researchers from the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center in the United States, are caused by random mutation in the tissue cells during the ordinary process of stem cell division. In the other third, our genetic inheritance and lifestyles are the main factors.

The scientists have created a mathematical model which, they say, shows it is wrong to assume that there are such things as “good genes” that may prevent us getting cancer even though we smoke, drink heavily and carry excessive weight.

“All cancers are caused by a combination of bad luck, the environment and heredity, and we’ve created a model that may help quantify how much of these three factors contribute to cancer development,” says Bert Vogelstein, the Clayton professor of oncology at the Johns Hopkins University school of medicine and one of the authors of the paper published in the journal Science. “Cancer-free longevity in people exposed to cancer-causing agents, such as tobacco, is often attributed to their ‘good genes’, but the truth is that most of them simply had good luck.”

The scientists looked at how often stem cell division, the normal process of cell renewal, takes place in 31 different tissue types, to find out whether the sheer number of divisions can lead to more mistakes – or DNA mutations – occurring. They did not look at tissues from two of the commonest forms of cancer – breast and prostate – which are known to have particular environmental triggers, such as obesity. These were not included because they could not find reliable data on the normal division rate of stem cells in these tissues.

“Our study shows, in general, that a change in the number of stem cell divisions in a tissue type is highly correlated with a change in the incidence of cancer in that same tissue,” said Vogelstein. One example, he says, is in colon tissue, which undergoes four times more stem cell divisions than small intestine tissue in humans. Likewise, colon cancer is much more prevalent than small intestinal cancer.

It could be argued, they say, that the colon is exposed to more environmental factors than the small intestine – but they point out that the opposite is true for mice, which have more stem cell divisions and a higher rate of cancer in their small intestines than in their colon.

The scientists say that bad luck plays a stronger role in some cancers than in others. In two-thirds of the cancers – 22 cancer types – random mutations in genes that drive cancer could explain why the disease occurred. The other nine cancers occurred more often than the random mutation rate would predict, suggesting that inherited genes or lifestyle factors were the main cause. They included lung cancer, where smoking is the major cause, and skin cancer, which can be triggered by sun exposure.

Continues …

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