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Medicine United States Science

Every Year of Smoking Causes About 150 New DNA Mutations That Can Make Cancer More Likely, Says Study (latimes.com) 158

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Los Angeles Times: For every year that you continue your pack-a-day habit, the DNA in every cell in your lungs acquires about 150 new mutations. Some of those mutations may be harmless, but the more there are, the greater the risk that one or more of them will wind up causing cancer. The threat doesn't stop there, according to a study in Friday's edition of the journal Science. After a year of smoking a pack of cigarettes each day, the cells in the larynx pick up roughly 97 new mutations, those in the pharynx accumulate 39 new mutations, and cells in the oral cavity gain 23 new mutations. Even organs with no direct exposure to tobacco smoke appear to be affected. The researchers counted about 18 new mutations in every bladder cell and six new mutations in every liver cell for each "pack-year" that smokers smoked. The findings are based on a genetic analysis of 5,243 cancers, including 2,490 from smokers and 1,063 from patients who said they had never smoked tobacco cigarettes. The researchers used powerful supercomputers to compare thousands of cancer genome sequences. The computers grouped the sequences into about 20 distinct categories, or "mutational signatures." Mutations tied to five of these signatures were more common in tumors from smokers than in tumors from nonsmokers. One of the signatures involves a specific DNA nucleobase change -- instead of a C for cytosine, there was an A for adenine -- that "is very similar" to the change that occurs in the lab when cells are exposed to benzo[a]pyrene, a compound that the International Agency for Research on Cancer says is carcinogenic to humans. Most of the lung and larynx cancers obtained from smokers had this type of mutation, the researchers reported. They also found that the signature was more common among smokers than nonsmokers. Another mutational signature was characterized by Cs that should have been Ts (thymine) and vice versa. Although these changes can be found in all kinds of cancers, the signature was 1.3 to 5.1 times more common in tumors from smokers than in tumors from nonsmokers, according to the study.
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Every Year of Smoking Causes About 150 New DNA Mutations That Can Make Cancer More Likely, Says Study

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  • anything
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Now clearly im not saying smoking is healthy. But a pack a day is what most people around here would call extremely excessive

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 03, 2016 @08:01PM (#53209943)

    Smoke if you want to be a super hero.

  • Vonnegut (Score:5, Funny)

    by msauve ( 701917 ) on Thursday November 03, 2016 @08:17PM (#53210011)
    "The public health authorities never mention the main reason many Americans have for smoking heavily, which is that smoking is a fairly sure, fairly honorable form of suicide." - Kurt Vonnegut

    "Here's the news: I am going to sue the Brown & Williamson Tobacco Company, manufacturers of Pall Mall cigarettes, for a billion bucks! Starting when I was only twelve years old, I have never chain-smoked anything but unfiltered Pall Malls. And for many years now, right on the package, Brown & Williamson have promised to kill me. But I am eighty-two. Thanks a lot, you dirty rats. The last thing I ever wanted was to be alive when the three most powerful people on the whole planet would be named Bush, Dick and Colon." - Kurt Vonnegut
  • by Anonymous Coward

    by switching to Oxycontin.

  • Cuz she's a non-smoker but a blister on the butt of society, and the sooner she's gone the better off the world is.
    • Awww, shit. That's what happens when you open your laptop to several emails on your fark comments, then you go elsewhere and aren't paying attention. Right sentiment, wrong forum.
  • Somebody please re-run these experiments specifically for marijuana. Somehow, pot-smokers have universally come to the conclusion that smoking burning cannabis leaves (without a filter) is not at all dangerous to them in any of the ways that smoking burning tobacco leaves (through a filter) is. I guarantee that the free radicals in cannabis smoke are every bit as dangerous as the free radicals in tobacco smoke.
    • Most of us just vape and eat edibles these days. Burning plant matter is passe

      • Edibles are hard to dose. I still smoke occasionally because I like the aroma's burning gives.
        Also the effects of every method is slightly different.
        • Edibles are hard to dose. I still smoke occasionally because I like the aroma's burning gives.
          Also the effects of every method is slightly different.

          They come nicely portioned into 5 or 10mg increments from my dispensary here in CO. This is why it's important to legalize and regulate substances instead of banning them in a panic.

    • Somehow, pot-smokers have universally come to the conclusion that smoking burning cannabis leaves (without a filter) is not at all dangerous to them in any of the ways that smoking burning tobacco leaves (through a filter) is.

      That's because studies keep coming out that universally come to the conclusion that smoking burning cannabis leaves (without a filter) is not at all dangerous to them in any of the ways that smoking burning tobacco leaves (through a filter) is.

      If you're mad that people are listening to scientific studies, perhaps you are an ignorant tool.

  • by manu0601 ( 2221348 ) on Thursday November 03, 2016 @09:04PM (#53210241)
    How many mutation does a non smoker get during a year? The comparison would be interesting.
    • How many mutation does a non smoker get during a year? The comparison would be interesting.

      If you live long enough you will get cancer, no matter your habits.

      A certain irreducible background incidence of cancer is to be expected regardless of circumstances: mutations can never be absolutely avoided, because they are an inescapable consequence of fundamental limitations on the accuracy of DNA replication, as discussed in Chapter 5. If a human could live long enough, it is inevitable that at least one of his or her cells would eventually accumulate a set of mutations sufficient for cancer to develop.

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/bo... [nih.gov]

      • If you live long enough you will get cancer

        On the flip side it sure doesn't hurt to live in Poona/Nagpur India.
        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/b... [nih.gov]

      • by manu0601 ( 2221348 ) on Friday November 04, 2016 @03:16AM (#53211059)

        If you live long enough you will get cancer, no matter your habits

        Sure, we know death is a protection against cancer, but that does not answer the question. We are told smokers get 150 mutation a year, but how much does a non smoker get?

        • If you live long enough you will get cancer, no matter your habits

          Sure, we know death is a protection against cancer, but that does not answer the question. We are told smokers get 150 mutation a year, but how much does a non smoker get?

          Guess you didn't see it, I sure can't. I followed up my post with a chart mentioning India wouldn't be a bad place to live.

          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/b... [nih.gov]
          The date of the chart, 1993 from works done in 1987 (how I read it - bottom of chart).

          The chart doesn't break it into smoking and non-smoking, but I'd use the general population as reading above replies many don't smoke anymore. Even the article can't give you the question you desire as FTA "which contribute to different extents in different cancers".

          Whi

          • The chart is about incidence of cancers, not mutations.

            Cancer is the result of exposition to inducer factors (that cause mutations), and promoter factors (that help tumor growth). This means you can find two groups where one will have more mutations, but less cancers.

            Indian food is well known to be an effective tumor growth inhibitor, hence I am not surprised to see low cancer levels for India.

            • The chart is about incidence of cancers, not mutations.

              Cancer is the result of exposition to inducer factors (that cause mutations), and promoter factors (that help tumor growth). This means you can find two groups where one will have more mutations, but less cancers.

              The chart was taken from the link I posted first, and it's all about the environment and mutations it can cause. Very interesting read, I came across it many years ago. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/b... [nih.gov] (the chart is listed in first paragraph as Table 23-1)

              Indian food is well known to be an effective tumor growth inhibitor, hence I am not surprised to see low cancer levels for India.

              Nagasaki Japan with a high incidence of stomach cancer - go figure.

  • Every time I read an article like this I think we are oversimplifying things. How can it be that there are chain smokers that live well into old age, and light or non-smokers that die of lung and other cancers? Yes, there is some chance involved, but if you're a hard smoker, smoking a pack a day since you were 16, and every year you get so many mutations, shouldn't it hit you at some point? Yet there are people like This Guy [wikipedia.org] who are heavy smokers and die at age 96.

    I think it also comes down to two different

  • Breathing in radioactive polonium containing smoke can do nice things for you.

  • I love how the anti-smoking crowd is so black and white.
    If you smoke you're an addict.
    If you smoke you'll get cancer and die
    If you smoke you'll give cancer to everyone around you
    If you vape, you'll also get cancer and die, and give it to everyone around you.
    If you smoke you'll be come more addicted than a crack addict.

    Second hand smoke has never been thoroughly proven, when given the levels of tobacco smoke a person can reasonably expect to encounter. I enjoy a pipe or a cigar no more than once a mon
  • I'm waiting for a study that says the same thing about pot (soooo disgusting...way more than tobacco) and vaping.

  • so, how many mutations per day/year does the average non smoker accumulate in the same tissues?
    aka How far is this from the baseline ?
    Increased risk would after all be a function of the difference between the baseline mutations and the change caused by the factor being studied. I suspect the assumption that NO mutation occurs without tobacco would be a serious error, or at least require some serious proof.

Leveraging always beats prototyping.

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