A study suggested at the NCRI Cancer conference thast a smoker's addictoin may leave a mark in their DNA, although the genetic code stays the same. This may allow future findings to measure a smoker's risk for cancer. Researchers found that the DNA of the blood can be tagged chemically as the result of smoking. The tags can be detected in lung tissue, and can be used to find the increased risk of cancers related to lung, bowel and breast.
The tags gradually diminsh as someone quits smoking, according to lead researcher James Flanagan of Imperial College London. The tags are found the surface of the DNA. Although the tags may slowly disappear, the DNA of a former smoker will never exactly match the DNA of a non-smoker-something to always think about! Flanagan said that this will give a better story through their life and how their habit has changed throughout the years.
Dr Jane Cope, director of the NCRI, said: “This reinforces the message that smoking doesn’t just affect the risk of lung cancer, it can increase the risk of more than a dozen different cancers. Smokers lose around a decade of life and, along with many other benefits, giving up will mean the added risk of cancer drops off over time.”