Review Of Biological Bad Luck Blamed For Two Thirds Of Cancer Cases

Do you believe that, in this day and age of advanced medical knowledge, our elite class of doctors and medical institutions are now telling us that cancer is just “Bad Luck”? Really? Does something sound a little fishy to you? Doesn’t every disease really boil down to this idea? In fact, don’t all of life’s major changes come down to “the odds”? I mean, your chances of getting the flu, the common cold, losing a job, getting hit by a car…bit by a shark…winning at poker…..don’t they all come down to  a statistical chance in the end? I think so. Of course, you can influence some of these events and this is why the article seems deceptive to me. The authors of this article are suggesting that there is nothing you can do to prevent cancer. Do you believe that? Do you believe it was “in the cards” for you to get cancer? That cancer is your destiny? I don’t and neither should you! That is why I have decided to write a short review of biological bad luck blamed for two thirds of cancer cases.

What Is The Motivation To Distribute This Article So Widely?

What I find strange about this article is that it has gotten so much attention from the media while potential cancer cures go unheard. To me it feels like somebody is trying to establish control, maintain dominance or establish a “pecking order”. Maybe somebody, somewhere is trying not to get sued? Follow the money, right? You can’t sue if it was just bad luck, right? Something is not sitting right. Why did this article get such wide distribution?

Review Of Biological Bad Luck Blamed for Two-Thirds Of Cancer Cases

Let’s just get a few quotes to work with from the article first. The quotes all come from this article. Read More

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.

and more…

“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.”

and more….

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.

Tomasetti said the study indicates that changing one’s lifestyle and habits like smoking to avoid cancer risks may help prevent certain cancers, but may not be as effective for others.

So, let’s take a look at some of these ideas. Tomasetti is saying that the elimination of risky behaviors, such as smoking, works for some people and not others…’s just a matter of good or bad luck. Could this possibly be true? In my opinion this is the most useless statement I have ever read. It’s like saying, “Yes, you can save for the future but you might die so…..why bother?” You do realize that the “why bother” statement is what you are supposed to conclude from this article. It’s appealing to your emotions and the feeling of hopelessness you can get as a cancer patient. So…I should smoke up?!

It has been said that hope deferred makes the heart sick. This “scientist” is implying that your life is summed up as nothing more than random chance and that you have no control over it. So, why try to avoid cancer? Trying is hard. So, give up…don’t try….just let life happen, watch TV and eat some chips. This researcher, Tomasetti, is contradicting so many medical studies that it would be impossible to name them all but let’s start with just a few.

Food – Here’s a list of cancer fighting foods from MD Anderson. Yes, MD Anderson is dedicated to fighting cancer and has a list of foods that they feel help fight and prevent cancer. Take a look.

Sweet potatoes, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, Bok choy, Spinach (preferably organic), Kale or collard greens (preferably organic), Peas (fresh or frozen), Romaine lettuce, Edamame, Tomatoes (no salt added if canned), Garlic, Pears, Oranges, Red or purple grapes (preferably organic, if imported), Fresh or frozen berries (preferably organic) Read More

The Mayo Clinic has something to say about cancer prevention as well in their article “Cancer Prevention: 7 Tips to Reduce Your Risk”.

In many cases, what is known about cancer prevention is still evolving. However, it’s well accepted that your chances of developing cancer are affected by the lifestyle choices you make. Read More

and from the World Health Organization

At least one-third of all cancer cases are preventable. Prevention offers the most cost-effective long-term strategy for the control of cancer. Read More

Of course, there are many more examples and scientific studies that point to the elimination of risky behaviors and the inclusion of healthy habits to help prevent cancer. So, I think that we need to look at the motivation for publishing and distributing this article so widely.

I think that whoever makes decisions about what articles are published, promoted or ignored has decided to make you feel powerless as a cancer patient. It seems to me that somebody wants you to sit down and be quiet. I think we’ve all had that experience in doctor’s offices haven’t we?

Don’t let the health care system treat you like a faceless number destined to die from cancer. “Don’t believe the hype.” Be resolute and fight. Get to know your doctors and make sure they get to know you. Stand up for your rights as a patient.

Personally, I think that my cancer is a result of the plastics and chemicals in our diet and environment. I drank water out of bottles laced with BPA for years. BPA is a known endocrine disrupter. In my opinion, there’s not much difference between that and smoking. I didn’t do it on purpose but, I drank quite a bit of water out of plastic bottles. Here’s a post about BPA and the endocrine system. Read More

I reviewed a similar article previously where the doctor described the beefy, fatty dinner that all of the doctors ate while attending an anticancer conference. It was called “A Rebuttal Of An Apple A Day and Other Myths from the NY Times” It was a similar article where the doctor claimed that behavior doesn’t matter in cancer prevention and treatment. – Read More

Stay Strong,
Ed – To find out how to use my images on your blog for free – Click Here





  1. yes it has been big over the water too Ed. There was quite a lot of upset and criticism here. It was reckless reporting in my opinion. It gave those thinking about reducing or stopping smoking an excuse to keep on going, those with bad diets a green light to keep on eating rubbish, etc etc.

    You might want to cast your eye over the Cancer Research UK view – these guys tend to be level headed and look at things from an evidence based perspective. I’m sure certain cancers do involve luck but not “most” as this research or the the interpretation of the media to make a good headline. You might also want to read a scientist blogger writing for the Guardian Newspaper using mild profanity to describe the research (also linked here)

    • It’s funny but I noticed that the European cancer blogs were more science based. I wonder why that is? BTW, my next post will include mild profanity! 🙂 That was funny. Any how, even when you guys use profanity you sound classy! 🙂 Thanks for the referrals. You know, after thinking about it….how much money would the tobacco industry pay for a study like that, right? It’s not our tobacco, it’s YOUR bad luck. I wonder if this story has deeper roots?

  2. This was an interesting post Ed. So much speculation is thrown our way, It’s hard to know what to think. To me the biggest factor is in our control. COMMON SENSE! So many questions and so much speculation…hard to know what to do. what to believe. And it’s even harder for someone in your position. You always make me think!

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