90% of Cancers Caused by Diet, Lifestyle, and Pollution. Not bad luck.

Longtime followers of this blog may remember that ridiculous study, which came out in January 2015, claiming that 65% of cancers are caused by “bad luck”, and my immediate ferocious rebuttal.

This week, a new study published in the journal Nature concluded that 70-90% of cancers are caused by diet, lifestyle, and environmental factors (like viruses, parasites & pollution).

And so today I’m revelling in another glorious “I told you so.”

The researchers found that most cancers – including lung, colorectal, bladder and thyroid cancers – possessed large numbers of mutations that were likely to have been caused by extrinsic (external) factors; only a few cancers had large proportions of intrinsic (internal) mutations.

Additionally, the researchers found strong epidemiological evidence supporting the high contribution of extrinsic factors to cancer development. For example, an analysis of immigrants who moved from countries with low cancer incidence to those with high cancer incidence revealed these individuals quickly acquired a higher cancer risk, suggesting extrinsic factors were to blame.

Talking to BBC News, senior study author Dr. Yusuf Hannun, of the Health Sciences Center at Stony Brook, said their findings show that “people can’t hide behind bad luck.”

“They can’t smoke and say it’s bad luck if they have cancer,” he explained. “It is like a revolver – intrinsic risk is one bullet. And if playing Russian roulette, then maybe 1 in 6 will get cancer – that’s the intrinsic bad luck.”

“Now, what a smoker does is add two or three more bullets to that revolver,” Dr. Hannun continued. “And now, they pull the trigger. There is still an element of luck as not every smoker gets cancer, but they have stacked the odds against them. From a public health point of view, we want to remove as many bullets as possible from the chamber.” (Source)

It’s encouraging to know there are still researchers interested in identifying the causes of cancer in order to help us prevent it, as opposed to those in the scientific and medical community who just shrug their shoulders and say, “We don’t know why… Let’s just call it all bad luck.”

Of course this latest paper is not presenting a new idea. Doctors and researchers have been saying this for decades, like this paper from 2008, which links 90-95% of cancers to diet, lifestyle and environment.

This cancer survivor is definitely in the 90-95% camp.

We all know that drinking, smoking and drug use promotes cancer, and that environmental toxins can cause cancer, but what kind of diet promotes cancer?

A Western Diet rich in meat, dairy, and processed food, as well as refined sugar, salt and oils.

The healthiest populations of people around the world, with the lowest rates of our leading cancer killers (lung, colon, breast, etc.), eat very little to none of those foods. And they ain’t Paleo.

Beat Cancer Kitchen: Deliciously Simple Plant-Based Anticancer Recipes Get it on Amazon here
Beat Cancer Daily 365 Days of Inspiration, Encouragement, and Action Steps to Survive and Thrive Get it on Amazon here
Chris Beat Cancer: A Comprehensive Plan for Healing Naturally Get it on Amazon here, or anywhere books are sold.

I've interviewed over 70 people who've healed all types and stages of cancer. Check them out here. Or use the search bar to find survivors of specific cancer types.

I also created a coaching program for cancer patients, caregivers, and anyone who is serious about prevention called SQUARE ONE. It contains the step-by-step strategies used by myself and many others who have healed cancer with a holistic approach using nutrition and natural non-toxic therapies.

Watch SQUARE ONE Module 1 for free here


Chris Beat Cancer is ad-free and reader-supported. If you purchase a product through a link on this site I may receive compensation from an affiliate partner (like Amazon). Your support helps fund this blog and my mission so my team and I can continue to do the work that we do. Thank you!

This Post Has 45 Comments

  1. Joe

    Hi Chris,
    It feels to me that Ty’s motivation has become very commercial and he’s always selling something. I rally hope people can trust that what you recommend is from the heart. There are only so many dollars your readers can devote to this cause and I’m hoping you are the honest place to turn for them.

    1. Tim

      As much as we all want to believe that Chris and Ty are truly on a mission to help people it seems that they are both chasing the ole mighty dollar.

      1. Christine R

        Chris Wark consistently provides *free* content. Having an affiliate link here and there to help defer costs is not “chasing the almighty dollar.” It’s unreasonable to expect someone to spend so much time on research and creating content with no return.

        1. charlie

          I think the people chasing the almighty dollar are the oncologist and big pharma.

      2. Jim

        Not true. Chris is a good man and Ty has good information on his videos and book. Grasp the writings an you will prove yourself wrong.

    2. Chris Wark

      Hi Joe. I think you should message Ty and TTAC about that. As for me, in the last 5.5 years, I’ve spent thousands of hours creating the hundreds of articles and videos on this free information site. It’s never been about the money, and it never will be. Anyone who spends a little time here will clearly see where my heart is.

      1. Valorie Toth

        Yes! And amen! Thank you Chris, for all of your generous time & effort. If not for your interview with Mark Simon I would not be on the road to recovery now, after doing several IPT sessions, plus lots of immune-boosting & other infusions which were not working. The markers were going up, not down. The NORI protocol is working. :)

  2. celiayounger

    I DON’T know but all of this have been said for many other doctors, like dr. Antonio Jimenez in Baja California in his last conference, For example his ” 7 steps to prevent cancer ”book. I guess many of the speakers tell us the same story. And some of them try to sell us many things to. That is a big problem, beside good information, they try to sell us things and that scre up everything they were trying to do.

  3. Laura Bailey

    I’ve always believed that any kind of irritant causes cancer, be it external or internal (like smoking or ovulation). If you keep poking at something, eventually it’s going to freak out, to put it very basically. Don’t poke! I mean, “smoke” …or ovulate! ;)

  4. Tammy

    Ty Bollinger is doing a wonderful thing. All great causes need financial support to get the information out to the masses. Thank you Ty. Thank you Dr. Jimenez. You guys rock!

  5. Kate Johansson

    Thank Heavens for Ty and Chris and all the folks risking so much (especially medical docs) to enlighten and teach us what we need to know to avoid so many diseases brought about by our blind trust of the food system. Yes–they (hopefully) make money on some of this knowledge sharing they do. But they certainly are not holding a gun to our heads to force us to buy their products. Geeze Louise! We could all keep eating at MacDonalds and supersizing everything. We could continue trusting the government, big agra, big pharma and big medicine. It is what the powers that be want us to do. They have held up a mirror so that we can see who is really responsible for our health or lack thereof. It wasn’t easy for us to look at ourselves and believe we were in charge. They had to comb the earth looking for experts to prove to us over and over again that we have the power to choose. I just wish there had been teachers like this 50 years ago! Yay for all the brave teachers who not only go up against the establishment, but try to teach a bunch of skeptical, argumentative boneheads like us how to stay healthy!

  6. Chrysalis Crowe

    There also has to be an emotional-energetic component to things. We are not only physical beings, but emotional, energetic, spiritual beings as well. It is my personal belief that lifestyle is but one component (albeit a rather important one). I took my diagnosis as a wake up call & a chance to look at all aspects of my life to see where healing was needed. I made lifestyle changes, yes indeedy, but also made emotional ones, did energy work, spiritual seeking, etc.

  7. Bill Pellow

    So, my wife has been a full vegetarian for 23 years, a mostly vegetarian for 20 years before that, uses no milk (we use some Westsoy organic unsweetened soy milk) and some (two or three a week) homegrown free-range vegetarian eggs. She has never used contraceptive drugs or other hormone replacement drugs, has never smoked or used alcohol, has not used pop or sugary drinks for twenty three years, uses some Xylitol but virtually no sugar, and exercised regularly until she had too many aches and pains to hardly walk, much less exercise, and yet she has fought breast cancer for thirteen years and it has returned three times. We live right against national forest and have the most pollution free air and water in the USA. We grow much of our own food on our forty acres. Our nearest neighbors are half a mile away. We have our own organic fruit trees and raise our own organic apples, pears, cherries, and plums. We can plenty, with some xylitol, especially apples, both sauce and juice. We avoid GMO foods. I garden organically. Her only risk factor is that she has never had children. We consulted with Dr. Rowan before he retired and he went through his list of questions and could find absolutely no environmental or lifestyle reason for her to have gotten cancer. No breast cancer exists on her mother’s side but some on her father’s side does. Her cancer has returned now three times, metastasized three times to her lymph nodes. Now it seems to have gone further. We have been going to Dr. Donato Perez Garcia in Tijuana, Mexico for all of our treatments by IPT. She has lived such a clean lifestyle but got cancer anyway and we can’t see how living even better (as if we could) would cure her. Your assertion that 90% of all cancers are preventable angers me. By placing the blame on the victim, all you accomplish is adding guilt to injury. No, this one and many others were not preventable. We have done everything we could do to live clean before cancer came, and even afterwards to get rid of this cancer, but it just keeps coming back.

    1. Debbie Breedlove

      Hi Bill – I know you think you and are wife are doing it right, but there is a key that you have missed. Your wife is running on sugar which is rocket fuel for cancer. It doesn’t matter if its organic apples or not. It is still fructose which is the worst kind of sugar. If sugar is cocaine, fructose is crack. Here is how you can save her life.
      She needs to stop eating fruit altogether, 100% no fruit
      Stop eating Bread, Pasta, and Rice 100% and anything that even has wheat/gluten in it as an ingredient. It is everywhere! Especially in packaged foods marketed to vegetarians
      She needs to eat only organic green vegetables, no corn, carrots, potatoes, (sugar again)
      Starting eating fatty Beef and Chicken. No limits here, just don’t eat pork or shellfish at all. Big organic ribeye steak, organic whole chicken, etc
      Stop cooking with vegetable oil. Use only organic coconut oil to cook with
      Use organic olive oil only at room temperature as a dressing on salads, vegetables, meats, etc.
      Start eating wild alaskan salmon if you can get it and wild cod. No tuna and no Tilapia
      Start water fasting 2 consecutive days week, then change to 7 consecutive days a month. Expand from there.

      I know this is a shocking diet, but it will save your wifes life and defeat the cancer. Her diet should be 70% fat, 20% protein, 10% carbs (green vegetable carbs only), but don’t worry too much on the ratios, just major on fat and protien and 100% avoid sugar/starch no matter what the source. Why this works is, after some time of eating like this her body will slowly switch off of “sugar-burner” metabolism and switch to “fat-burner” metabolism that will kill off the cancer cause cancer can’t take fat for energy. Also your wife will have limitless energy.
      You have tried it the pseudo-healthful way for dozen of years now and its obviously not working. Now try it this way and watch her recover. Give it 90 days to complete the sugar burner to fat burner transition (it takes some time and it will be hard at first, but once she gets over that hump and perseveres, it will transform her life)

      1. Simona Maven

        Hello Debbie; would you mind contacting me to provide me with some more information on this? e.g. water fasting – what it entails. I’d really appreciate it. Thanks in advance.

      2. Janet

        A few decades ago I went on a fruit kick for several months, and I was never so sick in my entire life! I got terrible colds, even the flu…which at that time I hadn’t had since in my early twenties. I gave up the fruit after I realized what it was doing to me, and my health improved immediately. It also seemed to give me gas, pimples, diarrhea, and fatigue. I’ve since read that fruit contains complex sugars, i.e. fructose, which must be metabolized by the liver. I also read many years ago that a healthy unstressed liver is necessary in order to properly break down the bad kind of estrogen that promotes menstrual issues as well as breast cancer.

    2. Kate Johansson

      Hi Bill: I am sorry to hear about your wife’s struggles. You make a great point and it is exactly why I did not share this article on social media. I thought: What will my friends who have cancer feel like when reading this article? We need to be careful what we say and how we say it. We all need to remember how difficult it has been for each of us to give up a lifetime of habit and culture. Hitting someone over the head with observations that they are somehow deserving of a disease because we “know” better is a great way to make enemies. Everyone must find their own way through the maze. And, really, none of us “knows” anything for certain about anyone else’s situation. It is difficult enough for us to get to know ourselves!

      1. beth

        try eating flax as well- omega three while avoiding the omega 6. – the bud-wig protocol

      2. lemurleap

        Maybe your friends would feel empowered? They can now do specific things to help themselves beat cancer. It’s not about blame or saying someone deserves a disease. We have to know what is making us sick so we can do something about it. And, to echo another comment on this thread. 90% is not 100%. Some people just get the crappy end of the stick. Saying this as a breast cancer survivor who took great comfort in the idea that I could do concrete things to help myself become cancer-free and be well.

    3. liz

      Let her try the budwig protocol. Avoiding the omega 6 oils, sugar and taking lots of omega 3.

    4. Tim

      Think about what you are saying, 90% is not the same as 100%. If I were her I would do the cannabis oil (RSO) therapy and start juicing and doing coffee enemas. Does she have any amalgam fillings or any root canals?

    5. Sandy

      You’re right! and I get so mad too when it’s assumed that it’s something I did to cause cancer in my body. I have a genetic mutation (possibly several but there is only a test for one) called the MTHFR mutation. And it is actually quite common. 50% of the population is presumed to have it. methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase is an enzyme needed to convert folate to its active form of 5-methyl tetrahydrofolate. If you have the mutation you are unable to provide methyl groups to cells in your body to keep them healthy. This mutation has been linked to heart disease, stroke, colon cancer, breast cancer, cervical cancer, diabetes and osteoporosis. Taking folic acid won’t do me any good, obviously. Instead I take a multivitamin with methyl folate. Other mutations that can contribute to cancer are glutathione enzyme, cytochrome p450, manganese superoxide dismutase and t-lymphocyte. So, you see, it may have nothing to do with your wife’s diet, or stress, or whether she’s eating sugar or whether or not the planets are fully aligned. It might just be a very, very common genetic mutation.

  8. Karen Khoo

    Hi Chris, I just wrote you a message through facebook, but I might as well write you another comment on your blog.

    My husband was admitted into hospital three weeks ago because of fluid
    buildup in his lung. That was when we found out he has stage 4 lung
    cancer. He is a strong, healthy guy, 40yo, a non-smoker. The news has
    been a blow to us when we have a 2yo. I am determined to change our diet
    habit but I need some coaching. Since his discharged this past week, I
    have put him on the Ketone diet with low net carbs, high fat and medium
    protein diet. I heard about juicing and we have tried for a few days
    until someone told me about the high sugar content that would ‘feed’ the
    cancer cells. He has lost so much weights during his two weeks stay in
    hospital and so I have not taken out meat from his meal completely. I
    now try to feed him a good portion of organic white meat and wild caught
    fish but loaded with organic vegetables daily. Are you still doing
    coaching as I have seen you left a reply to your blog reader awhile
    back. My mind is so lost right now as I am afraid I am not doing things
    right for my husband.

    He has been under 3 sessions of
    radiation already and he “might” be on the chemo drugs though not yet
    confirmed by the oncologists,The reasons I agreed to have radiation
    because I am afraid of the spread of the cancer to his brain (as of
    now, the cancer has been spread from his lung to his spine up to his
    neck,) and that I hope the chemo drug would somehow stop the fluid
    building up in his lung when the drug targets the “bad” cells only. My
    bottom line, we are determined to have a complete change to our diet and
    life style + adding supplement, so I would still focus more on the
    natural healing process. Please help, Chris! We are just a young family
    with a 2yo and I have been constantly filled with fear that our little
    boy might be losing his father so soon. We have hopes that God will heal us and I am grateful to have someone pointing my way to your blog. Any advice would help us at this
    point. Thanks in advance, Chris!

    1. lemurleap

      Don’t give up the juicing! Just juice vegetables, citrus, leafy greens, etc. and avoid high-sugar fruits. Blueberries are okay to juice or blend, too. The juice is extremely nutritious and easy to assimilate, and can give you several servings worth of vegetables in one glass. The latest information coming out about meat suggests that it is meat that is high in heme iron, (red meat, blood sausage, rare steak, for example) that is most likely the worst part about eating meat as it applies to cancer. So, I would continue with some white meat and wild caught fish. Try cold-processed whey protein to help keep up his intake. Besides this wonderful blog, look for Chris Woolam’s CancerActive website and newsletter. I am sending hope that your husband becomes well again and beats the cancer!

      1. Karen Khoo

        Thanks, lemurleap! The oncologist today confirmed the chemo drugs won’t work on my husband, and he will have to go under chemotherapy. I am still battling should we go for that option. If we don’t, he would still be having fluid buildup and the cough wouldn’t go away. Any advice?

        1. Tim

          Karen, not matter what you do including nothing and he will live longer than if he takes chemo therapy. If I were him I would start Gerson today and then go on Canabis oil (RSO) therapy.

        2. lemurleap

          I apologize that I did not see your reply. I wish I had advice for you here but my knowledge gives out at this point. I was very lucky in not having to undergo chemo when I had cancer. If you can afford it, I would definitely look up a local alternative medicine/integrative doctor who offers cancer care services to see what specifically can be done for your particular situation. I wish you healing and good luck.

      2. Troy Phillips

        Just my two cents but I’d try a live probiotic protein like hemp protein . Whey is a dead protein and is not too good on the gut. Some whey but I’d also take probiotics and enzymes . A healthy gut and immune system with minerals is the first step to healing. Check out hemp and chia along with the greens .

        1. lemurleap

          You know, I may have to go against what I said and agree with Troy. Whey did bother my stomach after awhile. However, I was checking the label of my Pacific Foods Bone Stock and I noticed it has 14 grams of protein per serving. You can also make your own both broth which will be highly nutritious, full of minerals, protein, as well as gut-healing gelatin. I also agree about the probiotics, enzymes, greens, hemp, and chia. Also, broccoli sprouts which have much higher concentrations of cancer-fighting constituents than full-grown broccoli. I like it mixed into hot broth and you could add it to bone stock for a one-two punch.

          1. Troy Phillips

            Sounds good I don’t know anything about bone stock. Heard good things about it making people healthier. My Aunt boils deer bones for broth. She is from Korea and said her father used to do this for good health. He was a top physician in Korea and also traveled to China in charge of hospitals in both countries. She is about 70 so her father is much older so this is a much older type of healing as compared to how things are done now. The Koreans also eat a lot of fermented foods and have good stomach health.

          2. lemurleap

            That is very interesting! Thank you for sharing that about your aunt and her father. Sometimes the old ways are the best, especially if they conform to or are similar to ancestral ways of eating and are whole food based. Bone broth is making the rounds in the media as one of the newest superfoods. One of my goals this year is to start making and consuming it more often this year.

      3. Tim

        In addition to juicing coffee enemas too. One coffe enema for each 8 oz juices.

      4. Mar

        Try pea protein instead of whey (it has casein)any dairy should be eliminated because in reading The China Study, it explains how casein fuels cancer cells. Please read this book. Iris an eye opener.

  9. DFMJK

    The one thing about Paleo it seems a lot of people don’t get is it’s not necessarily eating tons of meat. Just like any other healthy diet it can still be based (I believe should be based) off of a mostly organic veggie and fruit diet supplemented with grass fed/wild caught meat and organic nuts and seeds which honestly has me feeling amazing. The Paleo man also didn’t abstain from grains he foraged a little bit of everything so even then there is evidence in a real paleo diet a moderate amount of everything can be beneficial.

    1. lemurleap

      Agreed. I do paleo and average 10, sometimes 12, servings of vegetable and berries per day. Part of that is accomplished through juicing. We eat about 5-7 servings of meat per week and my goal is to get us down to 4-5. I eat more vegetables than most vegetarians I know.

  10. Brigette

    I have stage 4 matastic lung cancer to liver and bones the doctor said I had 6 months to live that was 2 years ago . My suggestion to you is immediatly get a herbal from Amazon or wherever and the name of it is paw paw also use a tea called pau d’arco drink it daily and a lot of it at least 6 paw paw capsules daily juicing for detox as well just like Chris said and prayers are going up for your family in Christ

    1. Karen Khoo

      did you do any conventional cancer therapies like radiation/chemo?

  11. newbloomer

    Prostate cancer is what I learned about as a wife. My husband had PSA 13 and had 40 rounds of radiation and 6 months of Lupron ( chemical castration / chemotherapy ) for prostate cancer. I begged him to quit drinking milk around radiation day 25. He loved milk but his PSA is .1 without milk so he quit drinking milk. Reward is instead of 2 years of Lupron he quit after 6 months. Unlike his father, grandfather and 7 uncles he has a prostate and an intact sex life. We eat whole foods, plant based 19 out of 21 meals per week.

  12. Thomas Dillon

    how to stop my wife’s metasized to bone breast cancer? Doctor has recommended Hospise as only therapy advisable.

  13. Sandra Coiny

    Being sick of stomach cancer is like asking God to take your life and never return to earth again, i will pray and pray for God’s mercies toward my life. Asking him to save and cure me from all this terrible disease or take my life. I can still remember being sick of Stomach cancer like it was yesterday. I was chronically ill for 11 years with stomach cancer, having undergo several chemo therapy, radiation and natural treatment due to the pain and suffering i endured, i had no choice but to try everything medicine that offer hope. I lost faith believing i was been punished and the doctor took the last hope that was with me. I would read a lot of articles online regarding the cannabis oil and it’s miraculous work’s on cancer patient’s, having being my last hope, I was privilege to obtain the cannabis oil from the affiliated Rick Simpson team 8 months ago, after proper following of instructions by their medical doctor’s on treatment after fulling obtaining the medication, I can proudly let my voice be heard by the whole universal that I have been saved by the Rick Simpson cannabis oil after 11 years of pains.
    I appreciate all the support my families and friends gave to me during this trying time of my life and to the Rick Simpson team, I am forever indebted to you all and would always support your organization in all ways of my life.

    Rick Simpson ricksimpsoncannabisoil_phoenix (at) outlook (dot) com
    ricksimpsoncannabisoil_phoenixtears (at) outlook (dot) com

    11 Years of Sorrow has turn into 5 months of total healing with the Rick Simpson cannabis oil, and am so grateful to God almighty for his mercy over my life as am now a dignified victory against stomach cancer. This is to let everyone out there know that they should never give up on God or themselves, no matter the situation in life, there is always a way out of it. Rick Simpson is a true Canadian Hero that deserve the Medal of honor.

  14. Dakota Richelieu

    Can you tell us if your wife is eating grains, and if so, which ones? There has been research that shows that cancers can be effected by the grains one eats, that have had GMO’s associated with them. Also, please know that no sugars of any kind, such as from fruit, should never be taken during cancer flares, and extremely light inbetween. This is fuel for cancers. There is a personality, or stress factor associated with this as well. It can be in the way she experiences inner stress, worry, or anxiety, that may not be expressed effectively. Just some thoughts to consider.

  15. dewdroppings

    The bad luck theory is obviously mainstream!

Comments are closed.