Study Suggests 70-90 Per Cent Of Cancer Is Caused By Environmental Factors

by : UNILAD on : 17 Dec 2015 13:42

Research has suggested that cancer is largely caused by environmental factors, not as a result of ‘lack of luck’ as previously thought.


A study published in January of this year had suggested that chance mutation was responsible for roughly two thirds of cancers, but new evidence has implied the complete opposite.

The latest research published by the Journal of Nature argues that cancers caused by ‘luck’ make up only about 10-30 per cent of the total suffered.

Stony Brook Cancer Centre in New York conducted the latest investigation and one of the lead doctors told the BBC that it is wrong to use luck as support of poor lifestyle choices.


Dr Yusuf Hannun said:

External factors play a big role, and people cannot hide behind bad luck.

They can’t smoke and say it’s bad luck if they have cancer.

It is like a revolver, intrinsic risk is one bullet.

And if playing Russian roulette, then maybe one in six will get cancer – that’s the intrinsic bad luck.

Now, what a smoker does is add two or three more bullets to that revolver. And now, they pull the trigger.”


There is still an element of luck as not every smoker gets cancer, but they have stacked the odds against them.

From a public health point of view, we want to remove as many bullets as possible from the chamber.”

The never ending stream of conflicting studies as to what does and doesn’t cause cancer will likely continue for years to come, so if you are concerned then try to be as healthy as you can, and if you have any specific worries contact a doctor.

Topics: Health


  1. BBC

    Cancer is not just 'bad luck' but down to environment, study suggests