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Smoking Cigarettes Leaves Imprint on Your DNA

Smoking cigarettes is not good for your health. Smoking cigarettes causes 90% of all lung cancer related deaths in men and 80% of lung cancer related deaths in women. Aside from lung cancer, by smoking cigarettes you also put yourself at risk of developing acute myeloid leukemia, bladder cancer, cancer of the cervix, cancer of the esophagus, kidney cancer, cancer of the larynx, cancer of the mouth, pancreatic cancer, cancer of the throat, stomach cancer and other serious diseases.

Cigarettes can cause mutation of DNA that then forms into certain types of cancer. New research is now showing that smokers have an “imprint” of sorts on their DNA. These “imprints” that researchers are referring to as codes are found in the DNA of blood. The codes have not been found to alter the sequence of DNA coding. What’s interesting is that once a smoker stops smoking, those imprints begin to disappear. However, they don’t vanish completely and do not match the unmarked DNA of a non-smoker.

In this initial study, measuring DNA tagging in blood samples from smokers and non-smokers allowed the researchers to investigate the link between smoking and these tags.

While smoking is associated with bowel cancer risk, a link between smoking and breast cancer has not been proven but the researchers believe that previous studies haven’t had the same genetic or epigenetic measures of smoke exposure available. This research will make that information available to scientists so they can spot any DNA tags that might be attributable to any risk that might exist.

Researchers are hopeful that this will be the beginning of future blood testing that will show a persons’ exact risk to certain cancers.

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