Despite often having poor diets and smoking people with schizophrenia have lower rates of cancer than other people. Many of the genes associated with schizophrenia are the same as the genes associated with cancer but the cells that contain the genes use them in different ways in the two disorders. In cancer the genes cause the cells to go into metabolic overdrive and multiply rapidly whereas in schizophrenia the cells slow to a crawl. It is hoped that further research will allow doctors to target these pathways leading to treatments for both schizophrenia and cancer.
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