Smoking Leads To 150 Genetic Mutations, Cancer; Breakthrough Research Probed into Smoker’s DNA [VIDEO]
A breakthrough research discovered that smoking one pack of cigarettes every day can lead to 150 cell mutations in a year. These mutations can occur in different regions of the body, increasing the risk of smokers to develop cancers not just in areas that are in direct contact with inhaled chemicals.
A comprehensive study, the first of its kind, probed deeper into the effects of smoking on the human body through the use of a pattern recognition program. The methodology is likened to recording the noise in a roomful of people and then separating individual voices to better hear them.
A group of collaborating researchers studied and compared 5,000 cancerous tumors from those who are habitual smokers and those who have not smoked a single cigarette in their life. The results were staggering with 150 different kinds of mutations in different parts of the body.
There were 97 mutations in every cell of the voice box, 39 in the pharynx, 23 in the mouth, 18 in the bladder and 6 in every cell of the liver. Ludmil Alexandrov of the Los Alamos Laboratory and co-author of the research, remarked that smoking may also potentially increase the risk of cancer in other parts of the body, not just the lungs as commonly known.
Moreover, every single genetic mutation is the launching point of a "cascade of genetic damage" as reported in the Daily Mail. This damage is permanent even for those who quit smoking. Like scars, it will never go away.
The good thing is that the earlier the smokers stop smoking, the less they are exposed; thereby fewer mutations. One cigarette alone contains 7,000 chemicals and 70 of these are known to be carcinogenic.
The only reason why some long-time smokers may not have gotten cancer is that the particular mutation did not develop into a life-threatening condition. However, no two mutations are the same and the probability of getting a cancerous mutation is high for perennial smokers. Smoking is one of the most easily avoided causes of cancer according to a report in The Guardian.
The breakthrough research allows scientists to understand how smoking damages the cells in the body. This understanding is crucial in preventive medicine and in finding a cure for cancer.