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Healthy Lifestyle Trumps Dodgy Genes

This message is for those who inherited dodgy Genes or have a family history of cancer… 

There has been a large population based case control study in Germany which separated lifestyle and genetics to see which one had the most influence on cancer, namely colorectal cancer (CRC).

The lifestyle measures were smoking, alcohol consumption, diet, physical activity and body fatness.

They found that those with greater lifestyle factors had increasingly lower risks of cancer.  This observation is nothing new – there have been numerous studies showing the benefits of a ‘healthy’ lifestyle and reducing your risk of cancer. 

However, what was amazing, was they found no connection between genetics and family history of CRC!

I hazard a presumption:  if a good lifestyle over rules bad genes, can a bad lifestyle ruin good genes?

The take home message is if you have a family history of CRC – don’t despair! A healthy lifestyle TRUMPS bad genes! 


Reference: ‘Healthy lifestyle factors associated with lower risk of colorectal cancer irrespective of genetic risk.’  https://www.gastrojournal.org/article/S0016-5085(18)34942-4/fulltext

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