The fact that cancer isn't 'just one of those things' that happens because of a bad throw of the genetic dice should influence the way we treat the disease and the advice handed out for preventing it, say researchers from the MCC-Spain survey group.
The researchers say the genetic link is less important than diet when it comes to colorectal cancer, where known risk factors, including genetics, account for only half of all cases. But a similar picture could be seen with other cancers.
The amount of red meat and vegetables we eat has a big impact on the risk of developing the cancer, say researchers, who have been analysing the diets and lifestyles of 4,080 people with cancer.
Reducing our meat consumption, while increasing the amount of vegetables we eat, could be the single most important thing we do to reduce our colorectal cancer risk, the researchers say.