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Genetic or lifestyle causes cancer? A review of recent scientific literature

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The cause of cancer itself is an on going debatable subject which will never actually be proven for certain. Suggestions have been made between genetics being the main cause or the life style lived by the person. Studies have managed to divide the population as some believe its down to genetics so they do not change any bad habits to reduce their chance of cancer such as drinking. The general public attitudes have been presented with explanations of the cause, to be down to genetics. However new studies have been proposed stating that it may actually be down to the lifestyle. Estimated that more than 1 out of 3 are preventable through just adjusting the lifestyle. This review summarises what has already been found about the publics perception on what they think could be the actual cause of cancer. The paper synopsises the most recent and valuable scientific data which have be resent by people in the field. Discovering what the public already know and how their attitude is to the topic.

With the help of facts and figures all of which will be presented in the review, claiming a very little small percentage is down to family history, with the remaining majority being down to the person themselves. Many approaches have been performed trying to obtain the views of the public, ranging from surveys or even face to face. Lastly the paper will conclude what the researchers think, introducing if the knowledge is enough to help get an answer from everyday people. The publics awareness was tested on how familiar they were with the lifestyle.

The publics perceptions of science are often found too controversial as they seem to clash on many topics. The publics current knowledge and understanding can be influenced by many things such as the education system which is government controlled, to more personal situations such as personal background. The government has a major influence on how the people think around this topic. It can help shape and form the publics mind-set on this issue. The media plays a huge role on how the public portrays science. The term cancer is a very sensitive matter as it is has become more common in this day and age. New treatments being found on a daily basis, through different tests and trails are being publicised by the media and spread across the front pages.

Is it just your own bad luck?
Cancer is in the news constantly, practically at the start of 2015 with a very controversial statement made stating cancer is basically down to your own bad luck. This statement was portrayed by, in the journal. The statement then went on to say that cancer is mostly down to bad luck than actual lifestyle factors such as smoking or own genetics. This conducted in the US, following that debatable headline, which proposes 70% of cancers are caused by chance alone. This goes against what the initial topics was regarding the cause. As genetic cells divide where as lifestyle factors cause problems in different tissues. A total of 31 tissues types were tested in study, trying to suggest a number of times their cells will divide. These results were then compared to the mean number during a lifetime of that tissue being used. Cancers were group by both environmental factors and genetic factors were grouped as which was affected by which was most affected. The bad luck could not be controlled that was found in the study, 65% was down to chance where as the remaining percentage was due to genetics and life style.

The highest result which was accumulated is due to bad luck. So chance can decide and determine if the individual will suffer from it. The study found that reducing the risk can be by just modifying the lifestyle of the person themselves. Nevertheless, there are methods that can limit the chances of getting cancer which is based on lifestyle. If the odds do seem to be against you it is still important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and cut down on products which may increase the chances of getting cancer in the future. These were the main objectives they had received.

Does public knowledge depend on just one particular cancer?
L Rutten published a study in the year 2009 titled, Public perceptions of cancer prevention. The aim was to portray and to familiarise the participants in the study with cancer as well as the prevention. This was done by the use of a survey, based around three cancers of which the thought is the three most known. These were colon, lung and skin cancer. In order to get a wide range of results and feedback, different groups of people were used in the experiment from diverse race and backgrounds.

The outcomesrevealed that there was more scientific knowledge behind some cancer than with others. The public had a more science evidence answers when it had come to questions about colon. Where as, Lung and skin cancer did not get the same feedback and less advance responses were obtained with not much relating to the scientific background of the cancer. The results established that there is an understanding from the public however it is not present for all the cancers. They discovered that this could be for many reasons such as what they have been taught of have come across in their life’s, or through education. The awareness could also depend on the type of cancer and the social background. Room for improvement is found by the study to give more insight knowledge of all types of cancers and not just focus on one in particular.

What factors could potentially be the cause?
In contrast, further studies have been performed on directly focusing on which is the actually cause of cancer, either genetics or lifestyle factors. Another recent study, Cancer is a Preventable Disease that Requires Major Lifestyle Changes, is one of the topreports which have managed to obtain honest results. The study uncovered that a low percentage of 0-10 was due to genetics, where as a very high percentage between 85-95 showed it was based on lifestyle factors.The most common lifestyle factors that kept coming up where, smoking or drinking alcohol on a daily basis, not maintaining a balanced diet, too much sun exposure or even stress. A percentage of 20 was proven the cause of smoking, where as a higher rate of 35 was down to a poor diet. The conclusion was, all had to be kept at a moderate level. Examples included the required amount of alcohol and the daily amount of exercise too. The main finding was the fact that cancer does have a huge sitepage too lifestyle factors, and is a preventable disease if the right steps are followed and kept through out.

Similar enough, the year 1998, the university of California, titled their research, The causes and prevention of cancer: the role of environment. Which focused upon reviewing the causes of cancer and if they can be in fact prevented. This study falls into my topic which is the cause for cancer, genetics or lifestyle. Many lifestyle factors can reduce the chance of getting cancer, such as the rate of drinking alcohol can be reduced or quitting smoking. Chemicals were tested to see if they can cause cancers. Fruit and vegetables were found to contain chemicals in them which can be bad for the human health. This could potentially increase the risk of cancer is what was discovered.

Cancer patients themselves?
Online surveys were performed by a further study which asked directly 100 cancer patients as well as 100 carers about their view on the fight against cancer. The aim was to gather the attitudes from people facing it on a day to day basis and by carers who witness them go through the suffering. Over half of the participants argued that they were happy with what has been done already to try and tackle the cure, where as nearly half of the rest of the participants did not agree and stated even if a treatment was to be found the cancer will still take lives and not cure the disease.

However, when put on the spot and asked about what is currently being done to treat cancer, the majority agreed that the country does not spend enough time trying to find a cure, as more could potentially be done with very small of amount being used to fund the cause. The research itself found that the public is fairly aware of what is going on as it is very common now than in the last 20 years according to the study. More should be proposed as the public has stated from the study they willing to pay to help fund the cause more.

None cancer patients think?
On a whole, based on results from ananother particular reading in the UK, the public have a negative and positive attitude. This was carried out by interviews with a total od 30 volunteers ranging from ages 23 years to 73 years. So a wide selection was used in the study, none of which have be diagnosed with the disease themselves. Both negative and positive feedback were obtained by the candidates in overall, however they did all agree that it can be a curable disease with only a few changes to be made in the lifestyle. The main conclusion taken away is that the publics understanding needs to be increased.

Britain had also faced survey by the use of face to face procedures, with a sample included 2216 member of the general public in total. The results found were male participants had a much lower amount of knowledge to the subject then females. The background of the participants had an influence on the answers which were given. Those from lower socio economic status. If the public

Can it be stoppable?
Cancer can be avoidable; a percentage was estimated of the cancer mortality if the cancer had been prevented if certain aspects where changed. A study which tried to state the obvious with overall good results. With the findings being 30% just down to tobacco alone with the rate due to increase drastically in the years to come in the US. Nonetheless, it does base its results from smoking for several decades a process which has lead to the development of the cancer. Out of the 7million cancer related deaths, 2.43 million of such were based under one of 9 lifestyle factors category of causes. Overall the decrease of contact of environment influences would decrease the rate of cancer in years to come.
Can more be done?
As room for improvement is available, an attempt to improve peoples understand was approached and tackled by using illustrations. With a total number of 318 people were used at an age of 60 and over. Each where offered an appointment or received information instead interviews were also given out on the phone, to see how much they had already known on the subject. Each interview and phone call were recorded and evaluated after. Overall a percentage of 57 knew what the interviews were about and have been familiar to what had been going on.

There are many things present to promote the prevention of cancers, even though there are messages across that illustrate that cancer can be just down to lifestyle for example adverts that show that smoking kills are just to mention a few examples. The question was, what causes cancer was asked directly to cancer survivors. The question was set to 580 cancer survivors. The survivors were from either breast cancer or prostate cancer. Their input suggested that genetics, environmental factors such as pollution and psychological matters like stress were the pain cancer killing causes. Their results seem to be different from the ideas cancer research experts would propose. As a final conclusion they showed that more people need to be educated to help minimize the chances of developing cancer.

The studies have common themes such as all results state that cancer is mostly related to the lifestyle of the individual, this contradicts the understanding of the public as if the pubic was more aware of cancer than was thought. Even though the majority studies showed lack of knowledge, genetics was the common reason and outcome for the public. The feedback has given high hopes that the rates could possibly decrease if the factors were to be limited. Room for improvement was presented by nearly all this studies, even though the basic knowledge was present there is room for more advance responses with scientific evidence. These results shine a light that realization is present in all age groups, either a cancer survivor or someone who hasn’t had any contact with the disease. They all argued that, the more people knew, the less chance of developing the cancer. The ones who could have high knowledge was people familiar in the environment such as medical and nursing staff.

Overall the review paper and researching articles has given me a vision and hope that the public are more aware in science than we first thought. This review will help me in order to start my research next year on my project. The way the researches have set out their studies as mentioned in the review will be guidelines for me and my study on finding out what the public think the cause of cancer is down to either genetics or lifestyle. These could be set as survey or even face to face, if unable to get out than interviews over the phone. From asking people who work in the medical field or from those who live with the disease every day. This research will lead to why it has become so hard to treat for so long. Is it down to the fact we still aren’t 100% sure of the cause of disease? However, if basing it on this review it seems to which that the lifestyle is the biggest killer in all. Is this the reason why a cure has not been found yet? This is all of which I would like to uncover in my projects based on the publics perception.

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