Lung cancer in non smokers
According to a study conducted in Netherlands, non smokers exhibit different lung cancer characteristics than smokers do. Among all the people affected with lung cancer, 25% are non smokers and the remaining are smokers. People who quit smoking after prolonged usage show characteristics similar to those of smokers. The genetic alterations that cause cancer are different in non-smokers when compared to smokers and hence the manifestations are different.
Non smokers show different genetic variations in lung cancer
Tobacco, with all the toxic elements present in it, causes genetic mutations. Carbon monoxide is one of the chief toxins that enters the blood stream and causes undesirable mutations. Since these toxic elements are absent in non smokers, the cause for mutation varies and hence, the cancer appears different. The study conducted in Netherlands is general to people all over the world. According to Kelsie Thu, the lead researcher of this study, the variation is found in a more pronounced manner among women and people of Asian origin.
Results of the study
The results of the study showed many genomic zones that were affected in a different manner in smokers and non smokers. Thu also said that a major portion of the tumor in lung cancer patients who never smoked had different genetic alterations. The conclusion that can be drawn from the study is that lung cancer is caused due to different reasons and is different in origin and ramification in those who have never smoked. The molecular mechanisms differ in non smokers.
Reflections of the study
This study has established the fact that since the cancer is different in the two cases; the treatment also has to vary. The exact cause of cancer is non smokers is yet to be ascertained. Researchers need to take the study further to isolate the cause of the abnormal genetic mutation in non smokers. Oncologists can then base their treatment on the cause and vary treatment for smokers and non smokers. The molecular mechanisms need to be studied to establish the right treatment process.
Awareness of the find to be increased
The awareness about the difference in cancer manifestation in smokers and non smokers has to be increased in order to bring about a positive change in the treatment method. Although radiation and chemotherapy are necessary to kill tumors caused due to any reason, knowing the exact cause will help in development of better and more powerful methods of treatment.