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Tumors: lungs heal if you quit smoking

FOR those WHO have made it and managed to stop smoking is good news. Researchers from the University College London (UCL) have discovered that the lungs have

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Tumors: lungs heal if you quit smoking
FOR those WHO have made it and managed to stop smoking is good news. Researchers from the University College London (UCL) have discovered that the lungs have the extraordinary ability to repair some of the damage caused by smoking. The first mutations related to the onset of lung carcinoma had been considered to be permanent, and then you thought persisted even after I stopped. In the new study, published in the journal Nature, the researchers have shown that there are some cells that are not damaged by the smoke, and who may repair the lungs. The effect was also observed in patients who had smoked a pack a day for 40 years before leaving the "blondes". Thousands of chemicals present in the smoke of tobacco "corrupt" and change the Dna of the lung cells, turning them slowly from healthy to cancerous. The study has discovered that this happens on a large scale into the lungs of a smoker even before developing the cancer. The vast majority of the cells taken from the airways of a smoker, in fact, is found to be mutated by tobacco, with cells that contained up to 10 thousand genetic alterations.

"These can be considered as mini time bombs, waiting for the next blow that will cause them to progress towards cancer," says Kate Gowers, one of the researchers of the UCL. But a small percentage of cells remained unharmed. It is not clear how to avoid the devastation genetics caused by smoking, but the researchers said that it seemed to resist in a sort of "nuclear bunker".

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However, after you stop smoking, these cells grow and replace those that are damaged in the lungs. In people who have stopped, up to 40 percent of their cells appeared to be those of people who had never smoked.

"we Were totally unprepared for the discovery," reports Bbc News Peter Campbell from the Sanger Institute. "There is a population of cells that, in a certain sense, fill magically the lining of the airways. One of the extraordinary things-and - still - is, was to see that in patients who had stopped, even after 40 years of smoking, a regeneration of the cells completely harmless to tobacco exposure". Researchers have yet to assess the amount of the lungs "repaired". The study focused on the main airway, rather than on small structures called the alveoli, where oxygen passes through the air that we breathe.

READ: Difficulty in breathing, has asthma or an allergy?

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