Some Smokers Don't Get Lung Cancer; Genetics Might Explain It
Some smokers might not get lung cancer because of their DNA, researchers report in a new study. These people have genes that help limit mutations, or changes, to DNA that would turn cells malignant and make them grow into tumors, the researchers say. Scientists have long suspected that smoking leads to lung cancer by triggering DNA mutations in healthy cells. But it was hard for them to identify the mutations in healthy cells that might help predict future cancer risk
@manav The researchers specifically looked at cells lining the lungs because these cells can survive for years and build up mutations over time that are linked to aging and smoking. This experimentally confirms that smoking increases lung cancer risk by increasing the frequency of mutations, as previously hypothesized. This is likely one reason why so few nonsmokers get lung cancer, while 10 to 20 percent of lifelong smokers do.