"Cancer incidence as a form of convergent evolution"
Cancers occur after a gradual accumulation of mutations in a tissue. Together, these mutations enable cells to grow and spread in an uncontrolled way. This process takes many years, with one problematic lineage incrementally gaining an advantage over surrounding, normal tissue. This process repeatedly involves mutations on a few key oncogenes and tumour suppressors. Starting only with the sequences of a critical set of such genes and probability theory, we show that lifetime cancer risk can be calculated with no statistical fitting. We also show that certain orders of these mutations are more likely than others, and that these orders form a structure similar to a phylogenetic tree.