Why is it that some people can do so many “wrong things” like eat a poor diet, smoke, drink excessive alcohol, take numerous drugs, etc. and still live long, relatively healthy lives while others receive a grim diagnosis in early life? I can’t tell you the number of patients I see that ask a similar question, “Why do i have cancer? I’ve eaten organic and lived a clean life for decades.”

In the past we’ve blamed one’s genes, as if we all possess a hidden, inherited code that determines one’s fate. This has long been debunked yet, unfortunately, while diet and lifestyle play an important in maintaining health and preventing cancer, life is more complex. To answer my patient’s question, I usually point to the plethora of factors involved in disease that go beyond diet – environmental toxins that no one can avoid, exogenous estrogens and hormone disruptors, heavy metals, sub-clinical bacteria and other biotoxins, and yes, genetic alterations in tumor suppressor and oncogenes. Many of these things are beyond one’s control.

Here is a video that helps breakdown the tumor suppressor gene factor: