This “exciting” new study says that protective cells in the lungs of ex-smokers could explain why quitting smoking dramatically reduces the risk of developing lung cancer.
Cancer Research UK-funded researchers from the Wellcome Sanger Institute and UCL have discovered that compared to current smokers, people who had stopped smoking had more genetically healthy lung cells, which have a much lower risk of developing into cancer.
The study shows that quitting smoking could do much more than just stopping further damage to the lungs. Researchers believe it could also allow new, healthy cells to actively replenish the lining of our airways. This shift in proportion of healthy to damaged cells could help protect against cancer.
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