Study Shows Most Smokers Aren’t Likely to Develop Lung Cancer
Smoking tobacco is the primary reason for developing lung cancer. Nevertheless, only a small number of people who smoke cigarettes suffer from this condition. The researchers of a new study believe some tobacco users may have robust defense mechanisms, limiting gene mutations in cancer cells, thus protecting them from lung cancer.
The results may be essential for identifying smokers who have higher chances of developing the condition. In addition, this study may help scientists prevent or detect the risk of developing lung cancer in its early stages. For a long time, it has been presumed that using tobacco results in getting lung cancer by causing DNA changes in the lung cells. These cells have the highest chance of becoming cancerogenic because they can survive for a long time and mutate due to aging and tobacco use.
The research team discovered that changes accumulate in the lung cells of people who don’t smoke as they get older. Furthermore, there are considerably more mutations in the lungs of people who smoke. As earlier assumed, the higher number of mutations proves that smokers are more likely to develop lung cancer. Moreover, that is probably why people who don’t use tobacco are not likely to suffer from lung cancer.
A pack-year is a clinical evaluation of smoking designed to measure one’s exposure to tobacco and identify the likelihood of developing lung cancer. As per the study’s results, the frequency of cell mutations identified in the lungs increases with the number of pack-years of using tobacco. In line with that, the chances of developing lung cancer probably increase as well. However, the increased number of cell mutations stops after 23 pack-years.
The findings also suggest that heavy tobacco users don’t have a high frequency of mutations. Additionally, these people may lead a long life despite their heavy smoking use due to their ability to halt mutation accumulation. In compliance with that, heavy smokers can repair DNA damage or can detox tobacco smoke. Researchers want to evaluate further one’s ability to repair DNA or detox smoke.
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