Bad genetic luck is mostly to blame for cancer — not behavior — says this study, by mathematician Cristian Tomasetti and geneticist Bert Vogelstein, both of Johns Hopkins University. We wonder what effect this will have on funding incentives for people to change bad behavior — smoking, inactivity and so on.
Bloomberg News suggested that the study would support ”focusing more resources on diagnosing the disease in early stages and on treatments to reduce mortality rates.”
The news service also noted that the researchers ”cautioned that the study isn’t a license to engage in unhealthy behavior. ‘Cancer-free longevity in people exposed to cancer-causing agents, such as tobacco, is often attributed to their ’good genes,’ but the truth is that most of them simply had good luck,’ Vogelstein said.”