- In France, lung cancer accounts for 15% of all new cancer cases.
- On average, people develop lung cancer around age 66.
In France, 46,363 new cases of lung cancer were diagnosed in 2018, according tokorean institute. This cancer is considered the most deadly in humans, causing 23,000 deaths annually. In women, there are about 10,000 each year, making it the second deadliest disease after breast cancer. Among the risk factors for developing lung cancer, smoking remains one of the most important. But it is still surprising to note that some heavy smokers, who consume more than one can a day, do not develop this disease and never will. why ?
Lung cells that do not mutate
Researchers have looked at exactly this question. According to them, if some heavy smokers do not develop this cancer, it is precisely thanks to the cells in their lungs and, more precisely, their ability not to transform. Their work has been published in the magazine nature genetics.
“These lung cells live for years, even decades, so mutations can accumulate with age and smoking. Of all the types of lung cells,[those in the lung]are among the most likely to become cancerous” and yet they are “the heaviest” Tobacco users did not necessarily have the highest mutation rate,” Simon Spivak, an epidemiologist and pulmonologist at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, explained to Science Alert.
“Highly effective cigarette smoke detoxification systems”
According to the authors, some smokers escape lung cancer because their bodies manage to suppress the buildup of these mutations. “The stability of mutations could come from the fact that these people have very effective detoxification systems from cigarette smoke.”The authors said.
Cancer develops in the body when mutations turn into tumors. Thus, scientists estimated that the development of the mutation into a tumor comes from the ability or inability of the organism to repair DNA damaged by tobacco.
“Now we want to develop new tests that can measure a person’s ability to repair or detoxify DNA. This could provide a new way to assess lung cancer risk.”Jan Vig, a geneticist at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine concluded.