• Question: Why do some people get cancer and others dont?

    Asked by boo1234 to Jo, Mariam, Leo, Iain, Gioia on 20 Jun 2010 in Categories: . This question was also asked by larryandharry, ladiesoflollipopxxx, irishpants, russarianpantsxx, zeddyzac, mollieandkatey, loopylauren, emilyrose, mgrgrl, emmaandizzy, setbuddiesx, bechope.
    • Photo: Iain Moal

      Iain Moal answered on 15 Jun 2010:

      Part of the reason is because of lifestyle. Some people smoke, drink a lot of alcohol, don’t wear suntan lotion in the sun, or have a bad diet. These are all risk factors. Another part of the answer is because of genetics: some people are born with an increased risk of developing cancer. The final part of the answer is just plain bad luck.

    • Photo: Mariam Orme

      Mariam Orme answered on 20 Jun 2010:

      It’s partly genetic, partly down to lifestyle factors and partly down to luck.
      Some people carry mutations that make them more likely to develop cancer. These mutations can be passed from parent to child.
      Lifestyle factors also make a difference: if you smoke, drink lots of alcohol, are overweight and spend loads of time on sunbeds, you’re much more likely to develop cancer than if you live a very healthy life.
      And finally, you can be lucky or unlucky… apart from inherited mutations, developing cancer is down to getting random mutations. You can be very unlucky and get mutations that lead to cancer even though you live a very healthy life; but on the other side, even if you do all the bad things and therefore have a high rate of mutations, you can be lucky and not get any dangerous mutations.