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CARIBBEAN 360 – Earlier this year, researchers sparked a debate by suggesting that random cell mutations, rather than lifestyle choices, played a significant role in the development of tumours, a finding dubbed the “bad luck hypothesis.”
A new study has nevertheless led scientists to believe that external influences have a far greater impact, implying that many cancers may be more preventable than previously thought.
The latest finding suggests that people could slash their risk of ever getting cancer if they just made lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, cutting back on alcohol, adopting a healthier diet, exercising and reducing sun exposure.
The Telegraph reports that the new research follows on from a study published in January, which suggested that 65 percent of cancers were inevitable and driven by random mistakes in cell division which are completely outside of our control.
The more cells divide, the greater the chances that a mutation can occur, leading to cancer, Johns Hopkins University said, and claimed it explained why areas of the body where cell division occurred more quickly, such as the colon, were more likely to develop tumours.
The new study, by Stony Brook Cancer Centre in New York, nevertheless suggests that cancer incidence is far too high to be explained away by simple mutations in cell division.