Saturday, July 31, 2021

Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle Could Possible Reduce Genetic Risk of Cancer


    Dr. Guangfu Jin at Nanjing Medical University performed genetic research that determined that healthy lifestyle factors, including low body mass index, abstinence from smoking and drinking, and regular exercise correlated with a decrease in cancer, even in those with high genetic risk. Researchers are able to determine personalized estimates of an individual’s risk of developing cancer, which are known as polygenic risk scores (PRS), based on each unique combination of changes that influence cancer risk in areas of DNA. Jin and his colleagues calculated individual PRS for 16 cancers in men and 18 in women, and using statistical methods combined these scores into a single measure of cancer risk. 

    The results of this study show that patients with an unhealthy lifestyle and the highest quintile of genetic risk were 2.99 times more likely in men and 2.38 times more likely in women to develop cancer as opposed to those with a healthy lifestyle and the lowest quintile of genetic risk. Individuals at a high genetic risk of overall cancer can be identified by PRS, and this risk can be attenuated by adopting a favorable lifestyle. Jin stated that “these findings indicate that everyone should have a healthy lifestyle to decrease overall cancer risk”, which is particularly important to those with high genetic risk of cancer. Jin hopes that the CPRS were useful in improving one’s self-awareness of their inherited susceptibility to cancer and motivating them to maintain a favorable and healthy lifestyle.

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  1. I think the findings of this study are exciting and important for those at high risk for cancer. It is essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle to live longer and now mitigate the chance of getting cancer even if individuals have a genetic disposition towards cancer. These findings will be helpful to people with a genetic disposition towards cancer.

  2. I think that it is interesting how leading a healthy lifestyle has the ability to lower the risk of obtaining a genetic disease that someone is genetically predisposed to acquire. If more people knew this information I believe that people would make an effort to be more active because many people probably believe they cant help prevent a disease they are genetically predisposed to acquire.

  3. I find this to be very helpful and that it is also a great stepping stone for lowering the risk of cancer. Instituting a better diet throughout the whole population will hopefully help to one day significantly decrease the rate of cancer in our country/throughout the world. I will for sure take this information and put it to use :)