Risk of Lung Cancer Found Higher in Women SmokersRisk of Lung Cancer Found Higher in Women Smokers

Women smokers may be more than twice as likely to develop lung cancer as male smokers, say researchers at Pennsylvania State University who recently discovered that a gene linked to the abnormal growth of lung cells is not as active in men. The study showed that the action of the gastrin-releasing peptide receptor, or GRPR, which plays a key role in the development of the lungs, increased lung cancer risk in both women and men smokers. But that risk was much higher for women smokers compared with their male counterparts. Differences in the action of the gene in women made the risk associated with GRPR 12 times higher for women and only 2.4 times higher for men smokers. Researchers say that GRPR becomes active in men only in the presence of tobacco smoke or some other respiratory attack, but remains active in women whether they smoke or not. (Journal of the National Cancer Institute, January 2000)

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