Contrary to existing beliefs that cancers are caused due to environmental factors and heredity, a new research study has found that most cancers are just a result of some random mistakes made by cells when dividing. The findings of the research have been published in the journal Science. The research was conducted by the same team that had earlier published another controversial report saying that cancers were just due to some random DNA mutations, or just plain bad luck. However, this time the research has been expanded to include data collected from 69 countries worldwide.
Speaking about the research in a news conference at the Johns Hopkins University Kimmel Cancer Center, co-author Bert Vogelstein said, “Two-thirds of the mutations that occur in cancers are due to the mistakes that cells make when they divide.” He also said that environmental factors account for 29% of mutations whereas heredity accounts for a mere 5%. The rest is just random mistakes that occur when the cell divides. However, the research does not mean that one can completely dismiss risk factors such as smoking, extreme sun exposure, etc.