What is it about?

Previous data (in humans and animals) showed that mutations in cancer genes are beneficial for survival in extreme environmental conditions, like extreme cold. In this study I showed that the "cancer-cold" theory seems to be confirmed in Nordic countries since they exhibit the higher cancer incidence in the world.

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Why is it important?

Countries with cold environments have to pay special attention at this phenomenon and at more effective cancer prevention strategies. Additionally, elucidation of this mechanism may contribute to future cancer therapeutic or intervention protocols.


Evolution and natural selection may have shaped high cancer incidence in humans. Mutations in cancer genes may be beneficial under certain environmental conditions but obviously they cause cancer later on age.

Konstantinos Voskarides
University of Cyprus

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: The “cancer–cold” hypothesis and possible extensions for the Nordic populations, Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, February 2019, SAGE Publications,
DOI: 10.1177/1403494819831905.
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