Posted: Jan 10, 2015 2:08 pm
by DavidMcC
DarthHelmet86 wrote:I think calling "a consequence of biological factors" luck is a bit wrong. I have always understood that there is a chance that cancer could form, that some behaviors and genes could increase or lower this chance but that whether it formed or didn't was not something that could be perfectly calculated or tied to an exact set of circumstances. Two people with the same genes with the same behaviors could have one have cancer form and the other not to my knowledge. Which I must say is based on a vary cursory glance at the topic during high school human biology.

It almost seems that the two groups are talking past each other that both sides essentially agree. But one side has a problem with the word luck being used to describe the outcome of a probability.

No doubt, you are referring to this article:
Biological bad luck blamed in two-thirds of cancer cases

Jan 1 (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.

In other words, the way I read it, they are making the epidemiological claim that random mutations in the somatic cells are twice as big a risk factor for cancer as inherited mutations and bad habits combined.