Cancer Can Be Developed By Chance, Study Finds

March 13, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. by chance /baɪ tʃæns/ (idiom) – to happen unexpectedly
Example: Some scientists make discoveries by chance during experiments.

2. -free /fri/ (suffix) – without
Example: An environmental group is requesting for a smoke-free policy in the area.

3. mutation /myuˈteɪ ʃən/ (n.) – a change or alteration in the genes of a plant or an animal
Example: The mouse was born without a tail due to a genetic mutation.

4. abnormal /æbˈnɔr məl/ (adj.) – not usual or typical
Example: He went to the doctor after he noticed an abnormal skin rash.

5. prioritize /praɪˈɔr ɪˌtaɪz/ (v.) – to value something with high importance
Example: The government should prioritize the funding of public hospitals.


Read the text below.
Researchers claim that most cases of cancers happen by chance and not because of unhealthy lifestyle.

The study from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine explained that cancer formation can be caused by three factors--heredity, environment, and luck. The scientists cited luck as a reason why some people live cancer-free lives despite having vices and why some people with healthy lifestyles get cancer. According to the study, most cancers are formed because of random DNA mutations.

Cancer cells form because of the abnormal growth and division of cells. Cells normally undergo a process wherein new cells grow and divide to replace the damaged ones. On rare occasions, DNA mutation occurs during the cell replacement. Mutations can then cause abnormality in the cells.

In the study, the researchers analyzed how fast the stem cells of 31 cancer types grow and divide. The study revealed that 22 of the 31 cancer cases they observed were caused by random DNA mutations.

Scientists also found that the other nine cancer types had higher cell division rates, which cannot be caused solely by DNA mutation. Researchers claim that lifestyle, surroundings, and heredity factors could have caused the increased rate. Lung cancer and skin cancer are among the types that could be attributed to external factors like pollution and sun exposure.

Amid these findings, the researchers suggest that people prioritize healthy living. They added that although lifestyle change cannot fully eliminate cancer risks, it can still help in cancer prevention.

Currently, cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States, next to heart disease. The most common cancers in America include prostate, breast, lung, and colon cancer.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Did your opinion on healthy living change after reading the article? Why or why not?
·         What activity or habit do you have that can be considered as healthy living?

Discussion B

·         Do you immediately see a doctor when you are ill? Why or why not?
·         In your opinion, is it expensive to follow a healthy lifestyle? Kindly discuss.

March 13, 2015