Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Eur J Cancer. 2017 Apr;75:83-85. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2016.12.022. Epub 2017 Feb 20.

Can chance cause cancer? A causal consideration.

Author information

1
Department of Biostatistics, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Oslo, Norway; Diakonhjemmet Hospital, Oslo, Norway. Electronic address: m.j.stensrud@medisin.uio.no.
2
Department of Biostatistics, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Oslo, Norway; Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA.
3
Department of Biostatistics, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Oslo, Norway.

Abstract

The role of randomness, environment and genetics in cancer development is debated. We approach the discussion by using the potential outcomes framework for causal inference. By briefly considering the underlying assumptions, we suggest that the antagonising views arise due to estimation of substantially different causal effects. These effects may be hard to interpret, and the results cannot be immediately compared. Indeed, it is not clear whether it is possible to define a causal effect of chance at all.

KEYWORDS:

Causality; Chance; Environment; Epidemiology; Interventions; Potential outcomes; Statistics

PMID:
28219021
DOI:
10.1016/j.ejca.2016.12.022
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for Norwegian BIBSYS system
Loading ...
Support Center