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Genes May Predict Risk of Lung Cancer Among Smokers

Posted by Jane Akre
Thursday, April 03, 2008 8:46 PM EST
Category: On The Road
Tags: Lung Cancer, Cancers, Smoking, Toxic Substances, Premature Death, Drug Products, Defective and Dangerous Products

Use of the humane genome is yielding information about genetic susceptibility to lung cancer.

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IMAGE SOURCE: WikiMedia Commons/ cancerous lung/ U.S. govt 

Genes may explain why some smokers develop lung cancer and some don’t.

Three independent genetic studies point to a genetic variation that is linked to developing lung cancer. 

Smoking is largely responsible for about five million premature lung cancer deaths a year worldwide. It’s been long understood that having a family member with lung cancer increases your odds of developing it, suggesting some genetic component.  

Scanning the human genome is yielding new discoveries, among them, there is a cluster of genes on chromosome 15 that predict how the body reacts to nicotine found in tobacco.

In people with the variation from one parent, they have a 30 percent chance of developing lung cancer.  But the studies say if the variation is from both parents, your risk increases to 70 to 80 percent.

These results suggest that among smokers, genetic implication may mean that some are as much as 80 percent more at risk than others without the genes.

Even if you never smoked, two parents contributing the gene variant might increase your risk of developing the disease.  

As genome detection become more sophisticated researchers are able to detect the variations among more than 35,000 smokers and former smokers. They were primarily from Europe, Canada and the U.S.  Half of the Europeans have one copy of the variation. In African or Asian people the gene variation are more common.

The studies don’t agree on whether genetics increase the risk of lung cancer or just tend to increase the craving for nicotine therefore leading to more cancers.

Among smokers, those with the two variants to the genes had an average of two cigarettes a day more than those with one variant.

The genetic variation may help explain why some occasional smokers never become addicted. 

While two studies linked the variant directly to lung cancer, the other study from the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France said there that the gene variant is not connected to smoking addiction. 

Although the studies disagree on whether those who have the double genetic risk factor have an increased risk of developing lung cancer, if you never smoke, you have less than one percent chance of ever having lung cancer. #


4 Comments

Anonymous User
Posted by eliana
Friday, April 04, 2008 2:01 AM EST

via 23/6..."

Anonymous User
Posted by eliana
Friday, April 04, 2008 2:02 AM EST

via 23/6... "By doing science things to lung-cancer patients and healthy people, all three teams identified a set of genetic mutations in a region on chromosome 15 that seems to affect the likelihood of people getting hooked on nicotine and/or getting cancer.

So what are the dooming traits that make us reach for the pack? The answers are as surprising as they are yellowed and smelly. " See the article here: LINK

Anonymous User
Posted by Lisa
Friday, April 04, 2008 11:53 PM EST

my parents smoke and now I smoke very strong how can I stop.

Anonymous User
Posted by James D. Carmine
Saturday, April 05, 2008 10:39 PM EST

The faulty, if not downright immoral, presumption of course is that nicotine is the primary carcinogen in tobacco; in fact nicotine is not the primary carcinogen. Nicotine itself has not been linked with cancer except in that it is what addicts people to tobacco and thereby all the other demonstrated carcinogens in tobacco. So this study is dangerously misleading, and for that they should be ashamed of themselves to publicize it this way.

Comments for this article are closed.

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