• I need to know if this cancer is from my DNA or was it something that I've eaten all my life? What cause this cancer?

    Asked by Sur2210 on Monday, July 1, 2013

    I need to know if this cancer is from my DNA or was it something that I've eaten all my life? What cause this cancer?

    When I ask the doctor they do not give me a direct answer, is it that they are still researching it themselves?

    10 Answers from the Community

    10 answers
    • gwendolyn's Avatar

      That's a question we'd all like the answer to, but probably won't get in our lifetimes. We've all wrestled with that, especially right after diagnosis. I suspect it's not one thing but a complicated combination of factors.

      almost 7 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      My Doctor told me that if they could tell you exactly what caused the cancer.... then they could cure that reason for causing it. So no, you won't get an answer as to exactly what caused it because no one person knows. There are a ton of could be's and this might and that might. But most of the time there is no clear cut reason.

      Don't beat yourself up over what might have caused it, at this point it really doesn't matter does it, you have cancer and the reason isn't going to change that. Concentrate on getting rid of it, then live the rest of your life happy.

      Let us know if we can help with anything, and thanks for being with us.

      almost 7 years ago
    • Peroll's Avatar

      Greg is correct you can't track cancer down to one single causal item. It is not DNA alone. My cancer has a high hereditary factor and I lot a grandfather and uncle to it before I got it but none of my siblings or cousins have managed to get it yet and I hove they never do. Even if you know what specifically caused your cancer, one or all factors, no one has yet invented time travel so we can't go back and change any of those events so I does not really make sense to spend much time worrying about the cause. Just concentrate on the fight and beating cancer. Good Luck

      almost 7 years ago
    • CAS1's Avatar

      Cancer is nothing more than normal cells that don't die and begin to mutate. Because they don't die they begin to cluster and form a blockage in an important organ. I have a mutation in the EGFR gene in exon 20. This is tied to Tarceva resistence and hereditary inclination. I was on assignment in Sweden when Chernobyl happend in the ukraine. The fall out came over the valley where I was for three weeks. That radiation coupled with this predisposition could have created the perfect storm..and bingo I got cancer.
      We will never know.

      almost 7 years ago
    • Tracy's Avatar

      You can beat yourself up for a long time for something that you will never be able to pin down. A stray molecule hit a cell wrong and caused a mutation that caused your cancer - we don't know. We might have guesses but that isn't going to help your recovery. My daughter used to get mad at me for calling myself a mutant. but that's basically true, a mutation caused my cancer to grow. It's no ones fault. Tracy

      almost 7 years ago
    • ddkk3's Avatar

      That's exactly right - researchers/doctors don't exactly know all the answers just yet. I think we all think this way right when we are diagnosed but for most types of cancers, we just don't know yet. For this reason, it's better to stop thinking about why this happened and focus on your treatment and getting better.

      almost 7 years ago
    • ladyhawk's Avatar

      because doctors don't know,,,, you can take the brac 1,2 test,,, funny thing my came back negative,, and I was stage 2,,, maybe it was the drugs and alcohol I tried in my 20's, maybe it was the soy I consumed in 2009,, maybe it was all the meat and dairy I eat all those years,,, maybe it was the 2nd hand smoke from my step dad smoking in the house everyday. These are all the factors I'm relying on. since its not in my genes or hereditary,, my doctor said its possible! funny thing is all my doctors are vegetarians and in great health! hmmm!

      almost 7 years ago
    • AlizaMLS's Avatar

      Dear Sur2210,

      Hi, I'm Aliza a BC patient and the site's unofficial Medical Librarian. Med Librarians tend to shy away from responding to medical questions as it's considered practicing medicine sans license which is a bit illegal...;) But I'm permitted to speak from my own experience.

      I'm the only person in my family to have Breast Cancer. My mom died two years ago from a Cerebral Hemorrhage. Cancer runs rampant in my family -all different types except for this one. I nursed my daughter (who's now 26 [I'm 54 now {53 when diagnosed}]) which is supposed to reduce risk and eat broccoli and try to eat relatively healthy food, so why me? I also have Lupus ( was diagnosed about 20 years ago [thought it was my "Get Out of Jail Free Card" as far as getting any other B-A-D diseases], but apparently life doesn't work that way. I decided to have a mastectomy, there was no cancer in my lymph nodes, I had Oncotype testing that ruled out chemotherapy for me and I'm now into my 7th month of being Cancer free! YAY!!

      The reason the doctor(s) didn't give you a direct answer is that she/he doesn't know. Cancer is a multi factoral disease, meaning that there are many factors that go into making the cells go wild-not just one. It could have a genetic component, but there may also have to be an environmental component or a dietary component along with that for those cells to start going crazy. There are many things you can consider like fracking (which has been in the news a lot lately [more in some places than others depending on where you live) and the Monsanto effect. But ultimately, Cancer just sometimes happens. You can drive yourself crazy playing oncology detective (but unless you're a brilliant oncologist who's on the brink of discovering not only the cause but the cure and winning the Nobel Prize in Medicine), save your energy for taking care of yourself, finding the best diet eat now that you have the disease, spending time with people who bring you joy and doing things you love. I do understand how you feel because I'm trained to research in Medicine and have trained physicians to do just that, so I occasionally dabble in medical research myself (my ex-husband's an M.D., my daughter's a Paramedic), so I can drive my oncologist bananas when I arrive with my very extensive list of questions...;)

      I do have a recommendation for you in the form of a book though (what else would you expect from a librarian?!...;)) It's called "The Emperor of All Maladies: a Biography of Cancer" by Siddhartha Mukherjee. He's a brilliant writer and oncologist at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in NYC. Great book. It may answer many of your questions and more.

      I hope I've shed a little light on why the docs can't answer that for you, and above all I hope your treatment goes well.

      Warm Wishes,

      almost 7 years ago
    • carm's Avatar

      Hello, I am an oncology nurse and I think I can help you with this question. I study genetics as well in the hopes of a better understanding of oncology from a cellular level. Could it be a cause of food? I think that knowing your food source is important, and genetically modified foods can affect you on a cellular level. However, for your cancer I think, its a safe assumption to think it is mutation driven. Most of the small bowel carcinoids are located in the ileum. The genetic mechanisms involved in the small bowel carcinogenesis remain unknown because the cases are so rare. What we do know is that although small intestinal carcinomas reveal complex genetic changes, a significant number of these tumors share karyotypic instability and losses of the 21 and 22 band on the long arm of chromosome 18. Most chromosome 18 long arm deletions tend to target the SMAD4 gene and disrupt tumor suppression through TGF Beta signalling. Given this, its safe to assume that it is a mutation that is responsible for the disease. I hope that one day we can get a more precise answer to your question. Best of luck to you, Carm RN.

      almost 7 years ago
    • meyati's Avatar

      Small intestine cancer--My father died 2 weeks after his 40th birthday. His oldest sister was in a car wreck, and the surgeon removed it. It recurred years later and she died quickly. My mother's father died from it when he was in his 90s. 2 of his sister-in-laws-my grandmother's sisters-they were Franciscan surgical nursing nuns- died from this.
      My brother and I didn't expect to live to the age of 40. We never talked about it at all. I did tell my husband before we were married that I might not live long enough to raise any children that we might have. We went ahead and had children. My brother and I both pushed the envelope. My brother flew in the USMC jets, scuba dived at night alone, was active in martial arts, volunteered for everything, I team roped, rode bareback broncs, surfed-hiked.
      My brother just turned 70, and I'm 71. We're both as healthy as the proverbial horse-except we both have BCC. His remains in stage one. I was just given a clean bill of health after radiation for aggressive atypical BCC 2T. I had horrible luck in getting mine cut out.
      My brother lives on smoothies-high protein Japanese fish diet. I live on beef. potatoes and Mexican food. I eat nuts and stuff-but I'm not that into it like my brother is.
      I had a cancer free party when I turned 40. When my brother turned 40 I had one for him, even though he was in Okinawa. I wrote and told him. He sent me stubs for 2 trips to Tokyo: one to celebrate my cancer free birthday, and then his cancer free birthday. 2 of my younger cousins on my father's side died from small intestine cancer before the age of 45. My brother drinks- I don't. Neither one of us smokes. Several doctors have suggested that because we expected to die- and just went out and lived the way we really wanted too, that we reduced lots of stress. Our hearts, lungs, etc are in great shape. I don't have any idea about what happens to whom.

      over 6 years ago

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