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Risk of Cancer: Genetic, Behavior or Just Bad Luck?

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Cancer Risk: Genetic, Behavior or Just Bad Luck? Auremar/PhotoSpin

Offit emphasized the importance of continuing to stress important public health awareness messages and stated that approximately half of all cancer deaths could be avoided.

Offit said, “Although most cancer is likely due to random events (affecting DNA replication) at the cellular level, at the population level, the most powerful interventions to decrease the burden of cancer are to stop smoking, know your family history and aim for ideal weight.”

Since so many cancer cases are the result of random genetic mistakes that cannot be predicted or prevented, Tomasetti and Vogelstein believe their research points to a need to develop better tests for early detection of cancer so it can be more effectively treated.

Sources:

The New York Times. Cancer’s Random Assault. Denise Grady. Web. February 25, 2015.
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/06/health/cancers-random-assault.html?_r=1

National Institutes of Health. Stem Cell Basics. Web. February 25, 2015.
http://stemcells.nih.gov/info/basics/pages/basics1.aspx

Reviewed February 26, 2015
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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