Bad Luck Causes Cancer

I can believe this. (originally from Science Magazine)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Plain old bad luck plays a major role in determining who gets cancer and who does not, according to researchers who found that two-thirds of cancer incidence of various types can be blamed on random mutations and not heredity or risky habits like smoking.

The researchers said on Thursday random DNA mutations accumulating in various parts of the body during ordinary cell division are the prime culprits behind many cancer types.

They looked at 31 cancer types and found that 22 of them, including leukemia and pancreatic, bone, testicular, ovarian and brain cancer, could be explained largely by these random mutations – essentially biological bad luck.

If nothing else, it may be worth remembering: The Bad Luck theory of cancer.

“When someone gets cancer, immediately people want to know why,” said oncologist Dr. Bert Vogelstein of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, who conducted the study published in the journal Science with Johns Hopkins biomathematician Cristian Tomasetti.

“They like to believe there’s a reason. And the real reason in many cases is not because you didn’t behave well or were exposed to some bad environmental influence, it’s just because that person was unlucky. It’s losing the lottery.”

Tomasetti said harmful mutations occur for “no particular reason other than randomness” as the body’s master cells, called stem cells, divide in various tissues.

Although of course the article goes on to link smoking and lung cancer. That’s a dogmatic article of faith. It’s heresy to deny it.

Another sort of ban:

France is a country where so-called “anti-racist” organizations, heavily subsidized by the government, fight for the most part only a single “racism”: “Islamophobia.”

It is now a country where the only people allowed to speak freely of Islam to large audiences are those who describe it as a religion of peace and unlimited love.

People prosecuted and fined for uttering critical remarks on Islam, such as Christine Tasin, say out loud what thousands think without daring to speak.

Polls show that French citizens in ever-increasing numbers are concerned about the rising proportion of unintegrated Muslims in the country, the endless expansion of no-go zones, the increasing number of Islamic converts, and the “replacement” of the French people.

So the media reports daily that the Islamic State goes around raping women and chopping people’s heads off, and that Al Qaeda suicide bombers blow themselves up all over the place, which is kinda bound to lower people’s opinion of Islam, but they’re not allowed to say so?

I think that when some idea or practice gets banned, that’s an almost sure-fire way to make people adopt the idea or practice. Just like the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. So everyone in Europe will end up hating Islam. And everyone will end up smoking, because nobody will believe that smoking causes lung cancer.

Or when something gets banned, it means that the usual methods of persuasion are no longer working.

And Scotland has got its first case of Ebola:

The Ebola Crisis That Never Ended

On the same day that the World Health Organization announced that 20,000 people have been infected with the virus, Scotland got its first case….

Meanwhile, on Monday, Liberia also announced a recent surge of new cases, which tempered hopes that the outbreak had stabilized there.

With this news, Ebola may be primed for a public awareness comeback in the United States. Earlier this month, the White House announced that Ron Klain would finish his tenure as “Ebola czar” in March. On Sunday, however, Klain was back on Meet the Press, where he continued to sound the alarm about the virus, calling it a “global threat” that won’t be finished “until we get all the way to zero.”

I think mentioning Ebola may have been banned too.


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48 Responses to Bad Luck Causes Cancer

  1. beobrigitte says:

    If nothing else, it may be worth remembering: The Bad Luck theory of cancer.

    Yep. However, I do not believe that it’s a genetic thing. If you are a happy, content and balanced being you are far less likely to develop cancer. The people who are easily scared, worried and do not enjoy life are the ones who are far more likely to get seriously ill.
    Take your flu week sickie once a year, take your ciggie breaks to have a chat, laugh and a joke with your colleagues, don’t walk into the yuppie trap and have a REAL life instead – you will emerge to be the strongest disease fighter, thus be in the group of the most productive work force and the HEALTHIEST (mentally as well as physically).

    And Scotland has got its first case of Ebola:
    Yep. The BBC finally got the name of the girl and repeatedly stated that Ebola was ‘really difficult to catch’…..
    The BBC also portraits the WHO as being a ‘saviour’….. HOW? By holding an $1.6 million extravaganza in Moscow because “smoking kills” when the baby boomer generation (run past me the years they grew up in…) finds itself to having to work until the age of 65+ because we all live longer HEALTHIER NOW, whilst withdrawing THEIR staff from the affected areas in March 2014 and being aware that the Ebola epidemic was out of control in SEPTEMBER 2014?

    The death toll of Ebola in 7000 REAL people. A lot of them being children. The knock back effect of famine in these areas is well underway. >7000 (officially stated) dead people with more to come.

    I think mentioning Ebola may have been banned too.
    When did the in March 2014 really struggling (and p*ssed off) organisation MSF stop complaining? They lost members of their staff to the disease when they were left high and dry with virtually no resources to help the e.g. Liberian people.
    That was when the WHO gagged them.

    And what does the BBC do? Praise the WHO. Pass me the sick bucket – I feel the urge to throw up.
    We do need to get rid of this costly WHO. It lives is cloud cuckoo land.

    • Frank Davis says:

      >7000 (officially stated) dead

      It’s actually nearly 8000 now. And those are just the official figures. It’s most likely a lot more.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Isnt it nice to finally see a real death number with a real cause attached to the death certificate for a change put out by Public Health……..They must be vomiting!

      • beobrigitte says:

        It is most likely an awful lot more. And we do not know what/how much of Ebola DNA the can be/will be integrated into genonic DNA; less even exactly WHERE and how stable this, thus viral DNA expression, will be.

        The WHO continues to party on tax payers’ expense over the fictive tobacco “deaths”. And stupid politicians fall for their babble.
        In the meantime, over here, the generations that grew up around smokers/became smokers live longer. They have been told they do and that therefore their retirement age is being pushed back to 67/70.

        ASH et al has some explanation to offer. I’m all ear.

  2. Smoking Lamp says:

    The random mutation cancer study is an important development. Not only does it erode much of the canon of the Antismoker cult’s dogma on cancer and smoking, it also erodes the dogma on lifestyle disease. Clearly, as Frank has noted, the study makes the obligatory reference to cancer and smoking (I guess they will be censored if they try and do otherwise), but it does so in a rather muted manner.

    I also saw the story at the Business Insider. At that outlet the story, based on a Reuters feed) was entitled “Groundbreaking Study Reveals The Main Reason Most People Get Cancer.”
    Read more: . So now after seeing a study last week that only 4 of 10 cancers are lifestyle related (including all lifestyle influences, smoking, obesity, too much sun) we now see that “two-thirds of cancer incidence of various types can be blamed on random mutations and not heredity or risky habits like smoking.” In addition:

    –“They looked at 31 cancer types and found that 22 of them, including leukemia and pancreatic, bone, testicular, ovarian and brain cancer, could be explained largely by these random mutations – essentially biological bad luck.”

    –“The other nine types, including colorectal cancer, skin cancer known as basal cell carcinoma and smoking-related lung cancer, were more heavily influenced by heredity and environmental factors like risky behavior or exposure to carcinogens.”

    So it is chance, not a lifestyle choice, environmental exposure that leads to 65% of cancers. So much for outdoor smoking bans. Ditto re indoor bans, and I guess a lot of the inability to demonstrate causation re first hand smoking now becomes clearer.

    Perhaps the increasing paucity of evidence is causing the Tobacco Control cult to increase their efforts and seek new bans while they still can. Maybe this is why all the globally coordinated call for new indoor and outdoor bans. I saw an article from Charlotte, NC today lauding their indoor ban: “Five Years Later, Smoking Ban Seen As Major Success” – See more at:–smoking-ban-seen-as-major-success/#sthash.8yrSQa1v.dpuf . Of course the county public health director (should properly call him tobacco control director) says there are 21% fewer heart attack cases at hospital emergency departments and fewer asthma cases in children. And of course these are discredited statistics that are reported over an d over in the tobacco control book of common worship and countering them would require fact checking which contemporary journalists and editors overlook. Why do a five year puff piece if the policy is really effective and accepted? The tobacco control inquisitor pretending to be a public health practitioner provides a clue for his motivation when he says his goal is to make all workplaces not only smoke free but also tobacco free and then he states that they do face some opposition on further bans.

    The opposition and increasing dubious health claims are also the likely source of critical comments being censored or held in eternal limbo awaiting moderation. You can’t let people know the lack of support for the tobacco control agenda or the true–not manufactured–majority may just get to repeal the smoking bans

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      also erodes the dogma on lifestyle disease.

      Thank you for pointing out the Obvious! lol

      Mummies’ clogged arteries take smoking, fatty foods, lethargy out of the mix

      By Tom Valeo, Times Correspondent

      Tuesday, April 23, 2013 4:30am

      You do everything right: You exercise every day, include lots of fruits and vegetables in your diet, never smoke, minimize the stress in your life and take medication to keep your cholesterol and blood pressure under control. You’re preventing modern life from ruining your heart, right? • Well, maybe modern life isn’t as much of a problem as merely living. CT scans of 137 ancient mummies from three continents show that our ancestors had plaque in their arteries, too, even though they never smoked, never tasted ice cream or pork rinds, and had no choice but to exercise vigorously every day of their lives.

      According to the study, which appeared recently in the Lancet, at least one-third of the mummies, who lived as long as 5,000 years ago, had arteries that had narrowed as a result of atherosclerosis — the buildup of fatty deposits in the arterial wall. Apparently the cardiovascular system has a tendency to clog up over time.

      “Our research shows that we are all at risk for atherosclerosis, the disease that causes heart attacks and strokes,” said Gregory Thomas, medical director of the MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute, Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, and one of the authors of the study. “The data we gathered about individuals from the prehistoric cultures of ancient Peru and the Native Americans living along the Colorado River and the Unangan of the Aleutian Islands is forcing us to look for other factors that may cause heart disease.”

      The diet of the mummies varied widely, but contained ample protein and vegetables (and presumably no cupcakes or pork rinds). Aside from the few Egyptian mummies who lived their lives as pampered royalty, these ancient people used their muscles constantly.

      Yet, the atherosclerosis was found in mummies who died in what we today would consider middle age (almost none made it to 60). And just as today, their arteries became more narrow as they got older. CT scans of modern people have demonstrated that after the age of 60 for men and 70 for women, some degree of atherosclerosis is all but universal. One large study found that teens ages 15 to 19 showed early signs of atherosclerosis, and 50 percent already had conspicuous accumulations of plaque.

      “All of us age in every tissue of our body,” says Dr. Donald LaVan, a professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and a spokesman for the American Heart Association. “It’s just a question of how rapidly it happens. There’s nothing you can do to stop aging. All you’re trying to do is prevent it from advancing faster than it should.”

      The authors of the paper agree. “Although commonly assumed to be a modern disease, the presence of atherosclerosis in premodern humans raises the possibility of a more basic predisposition to the disease,” they concluded.

      So what can we do to thwart that predisposition?

      Above all, don’t smoke, says LaVan, and engage in regular physical activity.

      “After that, we’re in the realm of treating disease,” he says. “If your lipids are up or you have hypertension, take care of it. If you have problems with rhythm disturbances, that must be treated, too, because it impairs the ability of heart to pump efficiently. We’re looking at common sense here, but getting patients to do these things is tough.”

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Heres a really wild one…………..sorta smelly too

        Scientists Say Smelling Farts Prevents Cancer

        Although hydrogen sulfide gas”—produced when bacteria breaks down food—”is well known as a pungent, foul-smelling gas in rotten eggs and flatulence, it is naturally produced in the body and could in fact be a healthcare hero with significant implications for future therapies for a variety of diseases,” Dr. Mark Wood said in a university release.

        Although the stinky gas can be noxious in large doses, scientists believe that a whiff here and there has the power to reduce risks of cancer, strokes, heart attacks, arthritis, and dementia by preserving mitochondria.

        Researchers are even coming up with their own compound to emulate the smell’s health benefits.

        “We have exploited this natural process by making a compound, called AP39, which slowly delivers very small amounts of this gas specifically to the mitochondria,” Professor Matt Whiteman, of the University of Exeter Medical School said. “Our results indicate that if stressed cells are treated with AP39, mitochondria are protected and cells stay alive.”

        So instead of getting upset the next time you catch a whiff… be thankful.

  3. Frank, thanks for highlighting this. As you know, I have terminal lung cancer. It’s of the type (non small cell lung cancer – adenocarcinoma) that is most commonly suffered by women and by never-smokers. My own oncologist told me that it was most likely a genetic mutation, and yes, “bad luck”. She was also the one who said not to bother giving up smoking as I had enough stress already. (Sorry if I’ve written about this here before.)

    I’m about to be tested for my gene mutation type as part of an international research programme and if I’m one of eight particular types I get the chance to test out experimental targetted drug therapy.

    @beobrigitte, I like you, but I’m sorry I totally disagree with you when you wrote “However, I do not believe that it’s a genetic thing. If you are a happy, content and balanced being you are far less likely to develop cancer.” That is complete bollocks, along with curing cancer via homeopathy, broccoli smoothies, colonic irrigation or cannabis oil.
    It’s also as insulting to cancer patients as telling them it’s their fault because they smoked or didn’t adopt a positive enough attitude. There’s an awful lot of woo written about cancer, and not all of it is from CRUK, you know.
    Yes, cancer is a genetic thing, and often to do with RNA mutations as well as DNA ones, quite likely through viruses, which is why it’s sometimes linked with inflammation.

    Oh, and warmest wishes to all for 2015.

    • RdM says:

      Perhaps beobrigitte might have written “I do not believe that it’s only a genetic thing. If you are a happy, content and balanced being you are far less likely to develop cancer. The people who are easily scared, worried and do not enjoy life are the ones who are far more likely to get seriously ill.” in her proposition, general as it might seem, but I think it plausible that stress, anxiety, unhappiness might lower the immune system response and general condition such that less able to deal with cancer, perhaps more susceptible. Even overlaid on other potential causes, perhaps.
      Conversely is there not anecdotal evidence of calm positive happy unfearful attitudes or attributes & etc. (even after diagnosis, changed) associated with remissions?
      (I seem to remember a book… :-))

      Anyway I think it’s good news in terms of helping to break Tobacco Control’s cast mold – or spell.

      Best Wishes!!! ;=}))

    • margo says:

      Very sorry, Lysistrata, to learn of your illness. In my 70+ years I’ve known (close enough to go to their funerals) 12 people to die of cancer. Only 4 of them ever smoked, none drank or ate excessively, and none were particularly fat or more unhappy than the rest of us. Whatever causes cancer, it seems unknowable which of us gets stricken, just as in a ‘flu epidemic’ it’s unknowable which of us will escape being ill.
      As for this study, let’s hope it marks the beginning of scientists acknowledging that for the last 60 years they’ve been barking up the wrong tree – just as we’ve been telling them all along.

    • Frank Davis says:

      And even warmer wishes for you, Lysistrata, in 2015. I’m surprised (and gratified) that you’re still alive. I’m even more surprised that in your case the chemotherapy seems to have been very effective.

      I can believe that there are genetic causes of cancer, that make some people more susceptible to it. When I was living in Devon, I knew a woman who told me that her entire family had succumbed to cancer, and she fully expected to do so herself.

      But, if true, that’s about the genes that you’re born with. But this new theory would seem to be about how (some) genes evolve over time, as cells reproduce. You might start out with a robust set of genes, and end up with some useless ones. Either way, it’s “genetic”. But the new theory would seem to be suggesting that anyone can get cancer, and it’s bad luck if you do.

      Unless you’re a smoker, in which case you have only yourself to blame.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Just for a moment and we stop and look at whats happening.

        If you decided that to many things were going against the dogma you’ve been preaching for generations and decided well we need a new boogie man to change the dogma and slide out of our past claims while still saving face. How would you do it?

        Toss out a few new studies leading the path towards a new dogma and quietly leave he other behind over time as the facts start to make your last dogma look like a pile of dog poo!

        Its safe to say that when political movemnts and politically biased science made to order start to fall apart. You gotta get smart and move to a new grey zone and quick lest you get caught up in the lies they’ve told……..

        Yes Im very wary of what these fools will do and do it small and then suddenly the new grey zone becomes the new standard scientific theology………

      • “I’m surprised (and gratified) that you’re still alive. I’m even more surprised that in your case the chemotherapy seems to have been very effective.”

        Frank, thank you, but I’m surprised that you’re surprised! I’ve included you on my fairly regular round robin update emails, to the email address you give on the ‘About’ page of this site – and you replied to one I sent last Spring. I’ll try and private message you via Facebook.

    • beobrigitte says:

      @Lysistrata: I read your reply earlier today. Then I decided that I need to take a close look at my attitudes and mental preoccupations because I totally missed the little hints…

      Of course my reply must have seemed a slap into your (and everyone who has a cancer) face. That was not my intention. I really do apologise for conveying this. And, yes, that is my fault. I did notice today, when reading what I wrote last night that I missed out the vital point: cancer is a mulitfactorial disease; even though a DNA aberration can start off a cancer, it takes more than this to establish the disease. The problem with inherited genetic predispositions is that others are going hand-in-hand with it.

      I was 19 when I found this little lump and sure enough it was immediately investigated. At the time I was quite irritated by the rush – yes, I had my lunch an hour ago, yes, I have to go back to work straight after this check and, no, my boss will not be happy if I get back after 15:00hrs. I was ignored and told to go straight to the “prep-room” where I was met by an old nurse. She was very kind but I was not in the mood to talk as I knew that my boss would give me hell for missing the rest of the day in work. This nurse looked at me and asked: “How scared are you”? That did wind me up. I told her that I was not scared at all of the op or whatever else they were going to do right now, I was scared of my boss!
      She smiled and told me: “Good. You are going to be fine.”
      This annoyed me even more.
      After the op I was signed off work. And the result that came back was an adenoma.

      The year after that my little brother was killed in a road traffic accident and 5 month after that I found that the “lump” had regrown. I did mention this the day after at my check-up appointment and all of a sudden there was hurry again. I was condemned again to a good throwing up session being operated on non-fasting.
      This time the little lump was 5x6x2 cm in which it was found that 2 cells (!) had become adenocarcinomic cells.

      In retrospect – I was very lucky…….. and never appreciated it. And shortly after this I moved to England. The GPs here weren’t interested and I avoided the string of follow ups I would have had to face in Germany.

      It’s also as insulting to cancer patients as telling them it’s their fault because they smoked or didn’t adopt a positive enough attitude.
      I agree, it comes across as exactly this. And it’s wrong. Forcing a ‘positive attitude’ is pointless and stressful. And it is a sad symptom of the state of our society. By now we invite “directive force”. The conditioning to do so is bearing fruit.

      Being “positive” is an individual thing; everyone does it differently.

      Lysistrata, I am so sorry that I wrote a very incomplete reply last night. Finishing off the bottle of MEAD whilst reading Frank’s blog and finally working mentally through the last and third, youngster in 2014 (funeral was 20.12.14) taking his own life was one of my not so good ideas. I am so sorry that I came across so ignorant!

      • My Dear Brigitte

        I’ve only just seen this: what a magnificent and thoughtful reply, thank you, and I am very humbled by you taking the trouble to write it.

        As I said in my post, I like you very much, and had we been talking face to face we would have sorted my small disagreement out cheerfully over a bottle of wine or a glass of beer or six.

        I do hope you see this message. I’ll also try sending you a message via Skype during tomorrow (Monday 5 Jan) so do log in to Skype. We should talk more.

        Love, Lysistrata

        • beobrigitte says:

          Thanks very much for the wake-up call. No, I deserve every slap, so roll up your sleeves!
          Unfortunately I got back late today and missed you on skype. Perhaps we should get a bottle of wine each and chat for a bit. I really can be an idiot at times, being unbelievably oblivious….. (If I don’t answer the call it’s because I have to switch computers; I use old computers for different things and need to crank the “skyputer” up.)

          Looking forward to apologize to you in person.

  4. smokingscot says:

    Thanks for that Frank. Ignoring our group’s prime reason for being here for the moment, I’d say that there are any number of reasons why people develop cancers and, having had considerable exposure to Oncologists, radiation, chemotherapy as well as speaking to many, many specialists as well as oh so many cancer victims, what this report highlights is something many cancer victims have sussed out all on their own. It’s very frequently just the luck of the draw.

    I was in a room where one woman, a mother of 4 young ones, had “non-specific” cancer. She explained she was riddled with the stuff, yet the experts simply could not pinpoint a specific cause. She never ever did bad things, was very happily married and absolutely doted on the sprogs – and she passed over before she was 40 years old.

    Another couldn’t find a comfortable way to sit because she had tumours close to her spine. Again, they could only help with pain medication.

    A room with me and seven women (Maggie Centre attending a talk about nutrition) and breast cancer was the predominant form there. Two of them weren’t even 30 years old and one was a nut about jogging and exercise and health and no she didn’t think smoking rooms were in the least bit okay. But she lost both her breasts.

    Chatting to one guy, pleasant, affable, early 30’s and there for his 2 hour infusion (a nice way of saying they saturate you with poison, hoping the good cells re-grow and the bad stuff doesn’t). He took off his cap to show a whacking great scar. Brain tumour.

    I could go on and on with stuff like this because, while I was real bad and “had less than 24 hours to live” (rubbish, I had no more than a couple of hours), there were so many who were so much worse than I.

    To me it matters very much exactly what type of cancer you have. It does involve genes, which is why Angelina Jolie had a double mastectomy. It also involves environment, which is why the poor folks in Iraq are getting all kinds of mutations on account of depleted uranium shells. And there does seem to be some connection with diet, certainly an awful lot of people who develop “bowel” cancer (a generic term for a host of cancer sites) seem to have a track record of eating lots of cheap processed meats.

    But I’d go with one of your commentators who believes that big shocks (losing her husband) can chew you up from the inside. Badly.

    If there is one single piece of advice I can pass on, it’s what I was told by one very experienced practitioner. “Go with your gut. Listen to it. It tells you things”. Gut instinct should never ever be underestimated.

    What does not help one bit – and Leg’s has raised this many times – is to immediately blame any one thing. In our case it’s very likely to be smoking that’s “blamed”. It seldom is. Many of us are in fact self medicating, they may not like the method we use, but it stonking works, for a whole stack of issues. Anxiety being one.

    We live in a culture, well nourished, that says there has to be a culprit for everything. It makes many people very wealthy indeed, witness the mis-selling and all the adverts on television. And let’s get very real here, tobacco control is doing us and the rest of society no favours at all. Mr. Chapman and his little dig at Joe Cocker displays the small minded nihilist mentality of those in the profession.

    Nor does it help to tell an old man that he developed kidney cancer because of “passive smoking”, as was the case in Scotland with Archie Macpherson.

    Those on the front line are generally very pragmatic about the causes of cancer and in the case of myself were completely non-judgemental. Never once any finger pointing. That helped enormously as well as the people in the Maggie Centre who were hugely knowledgeable and absolutely down to earth on every single aspect of what I was going through and would likely experience.

    What really gets to me Frank is these people are not political, they just get on with the job of treating confused, scared and hurting people. And that hurt is more than just pain. And they’re doing so on a shoe string because a heck of a lot of money’s being spent on so called “cancer prevention” by imbeciles who’s only real purpose is self aggrandisement.

    • *applause*, smokingscot. Excellent comment and rings very true.
      I should amend my earlier post to explain that by ‘genetic’ I meant to do with genes and cell reproduction, not genes that are inherited. Although as you rightly point out, some types of cancer are indeed caused by inherited genes, and emotional shocks can deplete your immune system.
      I am spending more and more time batting off bad science claims on various cancer forums: the latest one being “Sugar does feed cancer cells so cut out sugar!”.*facepalm*. I’m looking forward to replying to that.
      On the one hand I’m analysing and refuting bad science and statistics from the Anti-Smoking Industry, and now on the other hand I find I’m doing the same against people who believe in unicorns and wave sticks of broccoli at cancer like magic wands.
      Both cults (checks spelling carefully) make the same mistake of assuming that healthy living as defined by them leads to a lind of immortality. We must obey and sacrifice those things we enjoy, and chant our magic spells, and perform rituals of regular exercise, and practice religious food restrictions and we’ll all be saved. Hallelujah.
      The Maggie Centre sounds excellent by the way. Happily I also have access to superb NHS care.

      • Frank Davis says:

        I should amend my earlier post to explain that by ‘genetic’ I meant to do with genes and cell reproduction, not genes that are inherited.

        That was the distinction I was also trying to make in my comment above.

        “Sugar does feed cancer cells so cut out sugar!”.*facepalm*

        Sugar (in the form of glucose) feeds all cells, I believe.

    • cherie79 says:

      I told you my husband’s very sudden death in front of me sent me into a state of shock for months during which time my immune system seemed to collapse, it was about then the cancer started according to my surgeon. If it was just me I might have thought it was coincidence but I could easily name a dozen people who developed various cancers after a traumatic shock. Two friends who lost their young daughter to suicide both did, he was very lucky and though he nearly died after surgery he survived but sadly the mother died four weeks ago. I am convinced severe stress it a trigger and the cancer will develop in your weakest point. For many cases though there is no easy explanation, my cousin also attends the Beatson, only in her 40s with stage 4 Breast cancer, not the genetic knd so who knows why. As a nursing sister, forced to give up the job she loved, she helps other cancer patients now and has made five years, far more than we dared hope. Strange how some people last far longer than expected and others get no time at all. As they said just bad luck.

    • cherie79 says:

      My cousin thinks the world of the Maggie Centres too. Meant to put that in my previous post.

  5. Rose says:

    When you have no experience on a subject, it is better to keep your mouth shut and listen to those who do, but in the past couple of days two thought provoking articles have been published and reading the comments,it is interesting to see the map of the known world in people’s heads altering and re-forming. Some defend the existing beliefs, others accept the possibility, some just shout at the messenger as they did with Enstrom and Kabat.
    http: //

    The one Frank points out.

    Most types of cancer largely down to bad luck rather than lifestyle or genes

    And this from the ex-editor of the BMJ.

    “This is, I recognise, a romantic view of dying, but it is achievable with love, morphine, and whisky. But stay away from overambitious oncologists, and let’s stop wasting billions trying to cure cancer, potentially leaving us to die a much more horrible death.”

    An unfortunate title but if you can get past that, a very different point of view.

    • cherie79 says:

      I read that, there was quite an uproar on the cancer forum I follow. I can kind of see where he is coming from though it depends, some have a peaceful passing and others are hideous, especially if they have been trying all sorts of chemo and radiotherapy which have made their life a misery for months before. My friend who died a few weeks ago suffered so much from the effects she was glad to go and regretted having it when there was no real hope.

  6. Frank Davis says:

    Daily Telegraph:

    But now a study has shown that most cancers are primarily caused by bad luck rather than poor lifestyle choices or defective DNA.

    Researchers found that two thirds of cancers are driven by random mistakes in cell division which are completely outside of our control.

    They found that the more cells need to divide to stay healthy, the more likely cancer is to develop.
    It is the first time that scientists have been able to explain why some cancers are more common than others.

    It explains why, for example, colon cancer is more prevalent than cancer of the small intestine, because cells in the colon divide twice as fast as those in the upper bowel.

    Of 31 cancers studied by scientists at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the US, just nine were found to be linked to lifestyle or genetic faults. The remaining 22 were mainly just the result of ‘bad luck,’ with DNA and behaviour only having a small impact.

    The scientists claim that because it is impossible to prevent most types of cancer through behavioural changes or genetic screening, more should be done to speed up diagnosis so they can be spotted as early as possible.

    This reminds me of one of my evolutionary models of cancer from a year back. I had a population of theoretical cells whose offspring randomly reproduced either faster or slower than their parents. They would only reproduce when an adjacent cell died and left a void into which they could grow and divide. And cells only died when they were killed by radiation from a nearby radioactive particle. I got some very nice tumours as fast-reproducing cells rapidly predominated.

  7. harleyrider1978 says:

    The New Grey Zone of science is born……………what will be next!

  8. junican says:

    It would be interesting to know how this new study correlates with the age of the people who were studied.

  9. Joe L. says:

    Thank you for highlighting this study, Frank! It is a very important thorn in the side of the lifestyle engineers of today. I also can believe this – in fact, I have always believed this, and I actually believe the percentage of cancer cases due to “bad luck” is actually higher than the reported 66%. I am also of the belief that there are probably some genetic factors that predispose one to have such luck, but at the end of the day it simply comes down to chance. This chance, in my mind, also includes one’s exposure and response to certain viruses which can kick-start the chain reaction of rogue cell division.

    Happy New Year to all! This is an encouraging start to 2015!

  10. carol2000 says:

    “Although of course the article goes on to link smoking and lung cancer. That’s a dogmatic article of faith. It’s heresy to deny it.”

    So did you expect them to blame so-called smoking related cancers on simple bad luck? This kind of stuff is of no value to us. What is of value are studies on the role of infections in various cancers.

    • garyk30 says:

      They will just say that since all people are exposed to infections, smokers’ higher rates are due to smoking.

    • Frank Davis says:

      No I didn’t expect them to blame smoking-related cancers on bad luck, for the reason I gave: it’s a primary article of faith that smoking causes lung cancer.

      But I do think it is of value. Any new theory of cancer causation that eats away at that primary article of faith is helpful. And this isn’t “simple bad luck”, but the consequence of random mutations over multiple generations. And it’s as valid a theory of cancer causation as infection or fallout. I hope there are lots more theories.

  11. Rose says:

    CRUK strikes back.

    Yes, sometimes developing cancer is just bad lack – but that doesn’t mean you should keep smoking–but-that-doesnt-mean-you-should-keep-smoking-9954783.html

    Dr Emma Smith, Cancer Research UK’s senior cancer information officer

    CRUK responds to Richard Smith’s remarks about “wasting billions”.

    UK researchers outraged by cancer comments

    “”Cancer Research UK chief clinician Peter Johnson said, in a statement on Thursday, that the billions spent annually on finding a cure was money well spent because cancer killed the young as well as the old and “the more we know about cancer, the more we can give people options”.

    • Rose says:

      Funny, I never noticed that glaring typo in the first headline and link, I wonder how long they will take to notice it.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Im sure their shaking in their collective booties it could mean an end to their taxpayer non stop money run…………or at least redirected into other real scientific researchers pockets instead of propaganda artists.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Rose I had one comment up on SBS it was there 6 minutes and then disappeared. Unless internet magic makes it reappear.

    • garyk30 says:

      “because cancer killed the young as well as the old”

      True; but. how many or what percentage of cancers occur to those under the age of 35?

      Only 0.2%(2/10ths of 1 percent) of cancers happen to those that are less than 35 years old.
      Lung cancer deaths would be about: 336 per the 160 million under 35 Americans.

      That is 1 death per about 500,000 and just ‘bad luck’.

      Under 35’s have a yearly 99.9997% chance of not dying from lung cancer.

      • Some French bloke says:

        According to, numbers of lung cancer deaths in the United States of America for 2010:

        Male, age 35-85+: 87,635
        Female, age 35-85+: 70,493
        Male, age 0-34 : 108 (0.123 % out of a total of 87,743)
        Female, age 0-34 : 92 (0.13 % out of a total of 70,585)

        All US cancer deaths for 2010:
        Male, age 35-85+: 298,100
        Female, age 35-85+: 270,820
        Male, age 0-34 : 3556 (1.18 % out of a total of 301,656)
        Female, age 0-34 : 3077 (1.123 % out of a total of 273,897)

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          The ranking goes for all cancer deaths/mortality:

          Per 100,000 population CDC NUMBERS/ smoking rates from tobacco free kids

          Kentucky at 207 Adults in Kentucky who smoke* 29.0% (971,000)

          Miss. 200 Adults in Mississippi who smoke* 26.0% (579,300)

          West Virginia 196 Adults in West Virginia who smoke* 28.6% (420,500)

          Louisianna 196 Adults in Louisiana who smoke* 25.7% (888,300)

          Arkansas 193 Adults in Arkansas who smoke* 27.0% (601,400)

          Alabama 190 Adults in Alabama who smoke* 24.3% (893,100)

          Indiana 187 Adults in Indiana who smoke* 25.6% (1,259,300)

          Maine 186 Adults in Maine who smoke* 22.8% (241,400)

          Missouri 184 Adults in Missouri who smoke* 25.0% (1,149,600)

          Delaware 184 Adults in Delaware who smoke* 21.8% (153,100)

          South Carolina 182 Adults in South Carolina who smoke* 23.1% (831,200)

          Lung and Bronchus. Invasive Cancer Incidence Rates and 95% Confidence Intervals by Age and Race and Ethnicity, United States (Table *†‡

          Rates are per 100,000 persons. Rates are per 100,000 persons.

          Note the age where LC is found…………..OLD AGE group incidence hits the 500/100,000 at age 75-85

          AGE it seems is the deciding factor……….

… Cancer Sites Combined&Year=2010&Site=Lung and Bronchus&SurveyInstanceID=1

  12. harleyrider1978 says:

    Happy New Year? Here is what will happen on January 1, 2015 :
    Top Medicare tax went from 1.45% to 2.35%
    Top Income tax bracket went from 35% to 39.6%
    Top Income payroll tax went from 37.4% to 52.2%
    Capital Gains tax went from 15% to 28%
    Dividends tax went from 15% to 39.6%
    Estate tax went from 0% to 55%
    Remember this fact:
    These taxes were all passed only with democrat votes, no republicans
    voted for these taxes.
    These taxes were all passed under the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare

  13. Pingback: CRUK Strikes Back | Frank Davis

  14. Pingback: The Incompetent Carpenters | Frank Davis

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