Each time a person smokes a pack of cigarettes, a genetic mutation that could eventually lead to cancer is triggered, according to recent studies that once again support the relationship between smoking and lung cancer.
As recently detailed in the journal Nature, a study explored the effects of smoking on the genetic makeup of cells, with researchers respectively comparing a cancerous cell and a healthy cell from a 55-year-old man with lung cancer.
Using massively parallel sequencing technology, the researchers found approximately 22,910 genetic mutations in the cells of the lung cancer patient, with the majority of these variations caused by the chemicals in smoking, but only 5 or 10 of these mutations responsible for the cancer.
Based on the study’s findings, these mutations likely occurred immediately following smoking and were present for years before detection of the lung cancer.
Despite these mutations, researchers noted how a person’s genetic profile can return to its original state 10 to 15 years after quitting smoking, perhaps providing impetus for more people to do so.
Often unknown with smoking is that it not only affects the lungs but can have detrimental effects on the spine, with past studies detailing how smoking can increase chronic back pain and impede intended results from occurring following back surgeries like spinal fusion.