Women face double risk of lung cancer if…
A research published in Nature has revealed that women who smoke and who have a history of breast cancer are twice more likely to get lung cancer.
While ordinary smokers have 40 times the chance of developing lung cancer, researchers found out in a study of 27,000 people that if a smoker carries the breast cancer risk gene BRCA2, then he or she has 80 times the chance to get lung cancer. In addition, about 25% of those who have BRCA2 and who smoke will eventually develop lung cancer.
Team member Prof Richard Houlston of the Cancer Research UK explained that BRCA stops DNA from repairing itself: ‘In the context of smoking there is such an enormous amount of DNA damage that any loss of DNA repair is going to be an issue.’
Cancer Research UK’s chief clinician Prof Peter Johnson added ‘We’ve known for two decades that inherited mutations in BRCA2 made people more likely to develop breast and ovarian cancer, but these new findings show a greater risk of lung cancer too, especially for people who smoke.’
But there is a positive side to the discovery. The researchers said that their result means treatments for breast and ovarian cancer may also be effective against lung cancer.
The researchers said that without further studies, the best way to still prevent lung cancer is ‘to be a non-smoker.’