Patients often ask their doctors the reasons for their affliction by a particular disease. 

To my mind, there are two approaches to this question. 

The first is the scientific approach - which entails going into individual risk profile, identifying risk factors and then outlining them and explaining them to patients in the language that they can comprehend. The problem with this approach is that many patients will not have serious identifiable risk factors or will have low risk profile - and yet suffer from a serious illness.

The second approach is a philosophical / spiritual approach which involves vaguely telling patients that disease can affect any individual and that most diseases will have a therapeutic or a palliative option and therefore not to delve too much into risk factor assessment and look at life ahead. 

In my clinical practice, both these approaches sometimes result in partially satisfied patients and there is never a truly a great answer to such a question in real life.

Is there a better way to answer this question?

Im not sure!!