Scientists are now able to map the complete genetic codes of lung and skin cancer, and now an international effort is in motion to do the same for more varieties, including breast, stomach, liver, brain, mouth and pancreatic cancer. —KA
The scientists found the DNA code for a skin cancer called melanoma contained more than 30,000 errors almost entirely caused by too much sun exposure.
The lung cancer DNA code had more than 23,000 errors largely triggered by cigarette smoke exposure.
From this, the experts estimate a typical smoker acquires one new mutation for every 15 cigarettes they smoke.
Although many of these mutations will be harmless, some will trigger cancer.
Wellcome Trust researcher Dr Peter Campbell, who conducted this research, published in the journal Nature, said: “It’s like playing Russian roulette.