Scandinavian’s Predisposition Toward Cancer

People of Scandinavian descent, particularly Finnish in my experience have a predisposition towar contracting one form or another of cancer. Perhaps some nationalities has a defective genetic mututation with a tendency toward this disease.  I am Finnish myself and I have had cancer and so have various people in my family.  It appears that there is predisposition for it either in my family or in people of Finnish descent.  Perhaps there are environmental factors involved, Finland has a cold climate but I do not think that is something that would be a reason for cancer cells to re-produce. In our lecture in the Reflection Ms. Karim stated that it was something to reflect on if culture and political and economic influences spread disease.  What way would it affect cancer?  Perhaps it is diet.  This nationality makes a lot of pasties and seem to prefer and “meat and potatoes” type of diet.  This may be an environmental dietary factor in the development of cancer.  Cultural ecology examines how cultural beliefs and practices influence ecologogical relation between humans and diseases (lecture l, Chapter 2).  Cultural practices and beliefs may influence things like food choices. People that have immigrated to the United States seem to have the same tendency toward this disease, so being here in the United States seems to not have made a difference.

The ecosystem could be out of balance in this nationality. It is possible that first generations have not adapted and achieved a balance between themselves and their environment. I believe it is a combination of factors from environment, lifestyle and there may be a genetic component somewhere that we are not aware of.  In the future there may be a way of altering these affected genes if they are proven to be the culprit.  Some may say that is playing God.  That is a moral argument for philosophers and scientists.

1 thought on “Scandinavian’s Predisposition Toward Cancer

  1. While I was unaware of the connection between Scandinavians and Cancer, I think you came to some great conclusions. I would have initially thought that the weather played some role in their predisposition until you stated that even when moving the condition still exists. Diet could very well be a factor for this, but what about dating/marriage preferences? I know with some cultures, they prefer or just naturally date those that resemble themselves the most. This could cause the genetic mutation to become more prevalent in the culture. I think another area that should be evaluated is the differences between other countries that are situated in colder regions of the world’s diet. I think this could help us to determine if diet is a major factor.

    While I do agree that race is not shown genetically, I think that it could help us to better treat people with certain conditions. When the persons ethnicity is taken into consideration, we can better predict how certain aspects of their lives will dictate how effective a drug can be. Diet could be a large factor in drug affinity. We know that drinking certain liquids with medications causes them to be ineffective, the same could be true for some foods. I also believe that there is something different in every races genetic material that may cause differences in health, if our genetic material was the same in each culture, would their even be any differences between groups? For these reasons, it may be helpful to include race in clinical studies for health. If we do not try to categorize and create some groups to be more superior in these trials, I think that most people would agree with these practices if it were properly explained.

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