Scientists Might Finally Know Why Many Heavy Smokers Don’t Get Lung Cancer

Scientists Might Finally Know Why Many Heavy Smokers Don’t Get Lung Cancer
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It’s not mandatory to be a doctor to figure out that smoking cigarettes is not an efficient way to take care of your health, nor will it make you develop the superpower of opening your pickle jars with the power of the mind.

If you want a sure recipe for developing lung cancer, smoking for years is the best way. But even so, the majority of lifelong smokers still don’t get that type of cancer, which has been a mystery for medical researchers for many years. 

We could blame it on genetics

According to a new study that ScienceAlert.com tells us about, scientists might finally know why the majority of smokers don’t ever develop lung cancer. The new research analyzed the bronchi of 14 nonsmokers and 19 light, moderate, and very active smokers. Cells from the lungs were sequenced to see what was happening in their genomes. The research found that genetics might have a contribution to the situation, making some smokers not deal with lung cancer. The cells that line the lungs of these individuals show signs of having fewer chances of mutating over time. 

Last but not least, the study suggests that repair genes from the DNA are more implicated for those smokers who don’t get lung cancer.

Simon Spivack, an epidemiologist and pulmonologist at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, explained:

The heaviest smokers did not have the highest mutation burden,

Our data suggest that these individuals may have survived for so long in spite of their heavy smoking because they managed to suppress further mutation accumulation. This leveling off of mutations could stem from these people having very proficient systems for repairing DNA damage or detoxifying cigarette smoke.

The new research was published in Nature.


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Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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