Cancer Risk Assessment: Cancer And The Game Of Chance

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Cancer and gambling are in a way related. No. Do not get it wrong you do not have a higher or lower chance of contracting cancer if you indulge in any type of gambling. But there is a similar similarity between the game of chance and chance of cancer. In the case of gambling or in any game of chance luck plays a major part in determining who gets to win and who does not. Of course skill and logical analysis can have some minimal impact in the outcome of any game of chance but it is almost always sheer luck that plays a main role. Similarly luck plays a major role in determining who gets cancer and who does not in a good number of cases. The influence of luck when it comes to cancer is commonly ignored; yet it is important for the individual. How is that two animals of identical genetic constitution that have been treated in the same way do not, in general, develop cancer in the same place at precisely the same age is always a mystery.

There are chain smokers who smoke several packs of cigarettes till the ripe old age of 80 and still do not seem to be affected by lung cancer. In fact one of the oldest persons in Cuba who is aged 110 years says that the secret of his longevity is best quality Cuban cigars. While someone in his early twenties who had recently taken to smoking may be diagnosed with lung cancer. Out of two twin sisters with similar genetic predisposition to breast cancer only one may ever develop it and the other may live a healthy life till the end.

It all reflects the element of chance that determinates whether a particular series of events all occur in one particular stem cell out of the many thousands of stem cells that exist that do not give rise to a malignant tumor. For any one individual the role of good or bad luck in determining the occurrence of cancer may be large just as luck plays a fundamental part in whether or not an individual driver has a traffic incident. But overall the element of chance when it comes to overall population is found to be low. Luck has little net effect on the incidence of cancer on the large population and only nature and nurture are important. Assume that a group of people are crossing a land mine infected war zone without any demining or preventive steps. There is a very high chance that most of them would be affected by mine blast. But still there may be some individuals who may escape. So while a good number of cancer cases are out of sheer luck a major portion of cancer cases are definitely due the level and duration of the exposure to carcinogens and the nutrition. Leaving it to chance and luck to ward off cancer while exposing oneself to carcinogens and not taking proper nutrition to build immunity is like walking in the cancer minefield.

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Source by Andy Kahn

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