that make cancer more likely
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.
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