Habits and environment are most responsible for cancer

Daily factors prevail over genetics and heredity in the development of the disease

Attributed normally to genetic and hereditary factors, the onset of cancer is linked more to aspects related to the habits and environment in which one lives than to a biological predisposition.

Cancer is a name for more than 100 diseases with one feature in common: the abnormal proliferation of cells in the body.

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“Although it is not evident because the cells start to behave in a disorderly way, the causes of this lack of control are an interaction between genetic predisposition and the environment, in the sense of the conditions in which we live and the habits we adopt,” explained the director of the cancer center of the Beneficência Portuguesa Hospital in São Paulo, Antonio Buzaid during an oncology event organized by Bayer in São Paulo on May 2-3.

Experts expect that genetic syndromes will account for a maximum of 10% of the world’s cancer cases. The other cases are related to the environment or were made possible by environmental stimuli in an unfavorable genetic condition.

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, quoted by Buzaid, looked at thousands of twin siblings, identical or otherwise, to relate the incidence of cancer to genetic aspects. In the case of identical twins, the DNA is totally equal, whereas in the case of the identical twins they are very similar.

The results of this study presented by the doctor indicate the thesis that the medium is the main responsible for the onset of cancer. Of all pairs of twins, in only 14% of cases where one of the siblings developed cancer, the other had a similar problem.

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Environment and habits

There are several variables that can be included in what is called an “environment” that favors the development of cancer. “Habits like smoking, consuming too much-saturated fat, eating too hot tea, or carrying certain types of viruses, such as HPV or hepatitis, are environmental factors that can contribute to cancer on many fronts,” says Buzaid.

Smoking is the main cause for the development of the disease. It is estimated that 80% of lung cancer cases and up to 1/3 of the general cases are caused by cigarette smoking.

Another cause of cancer indicated by the specialist is the feeding. “There are many foods that can cause cancer, even more, if consumed in excess, such as industrialized and fatty,” warns Buzaid.

The WHO classifies potential carcinogenic foods according to the proven relationship between their consumption and the development of the disease. Red meats, for example, are classified as “2a”, which suggests “probable relationship with cancer”. Processed meats, such as sausages, sausages, and sausages, are classified as “1”, that is, proven carcinogenic.