Smoking is no doubt a menace and is one of the major reasons behind cancerous deaths every year. The ill habit can lead to several cancerous issues of which the most significant is lung cancer. Tobacco smoke carries over 70 different harmful substances which assist in abetting cancer risks in the smoker’s body. As one inhales smoke, the harmful chemicals enter into lungs & from there spread throughout the body. The post below discusses how smoking causes lung cancer.
The poisons in tobacco smoke damage the DNA, prevent chances of DNA repair & weaken the body’s ability to flush out the harmful toxins- all of which made the body vulnerable to lung cancer. When one consumes carcinogen-filled tobacco smoke, lung tissue experiences immediate change. At first, the body might be capable of repairing the damage yet repeated exposure result in irreparable damage of normal cells lining up the lungs.
Let’s see how various carcinogenic chemicals in cigarette prepare the body for lung cancer.
As mentioned earlier, tobacco smoke increases lung cancer risks by damaging DNA, which also includes major genes safeguarding the body against cancer. The major chemicals in cigarette responsible for DNA damage are nitrosamines, benzo(a)pyrene, polonium-210 & benzene.
Then, there are other chemicals in tobacco smoke that also enhances the lung cancer risk by a huge extent. You have chromium that poisons such as benzo(a)pyrene stick tightly to DNA, further increasing risks of severe damage. Then, there are chemicals such as nickel & arsenic that interfere with the pathways meant to repair the damaged DNA. As a result, the damaged cell turn more cancerous eventually.
Now, it’s to stress here that there are cleaner proteins in the body known as “detoxification enzymes” which mop up the harmful chemicals & convert these to harmless ones. However, chemicals in cigarette smoke, like cadmium, work to overpower these cleaners which in turn nullify any detoxification effect in the body.
Two highly harmful chemicals in cigarette smoke, formaldehyde & acrolein, kill off cilia, making the body even more vulnerable to lung cancer issues. Cilia can be defined as small hairs which clean up toxins from the airways.
Then, cigarette smoke casts a heinous impact on body’s immune system. The poisonous smoke increase cells which abet tumor growth inside the lungs & suppress the ones that kill the cancer cells.
Thus, if you are into heavy smoking lately, it’s better that you work up to quit it as soon as possible.