How does smoking contribute to lung cancer?

Medically Reviewed by Checkmark Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Sravanthi Sunkaraneni
The ability of cigarette smoke to directly enter the lungs and harm the inner lining of the lungs, is due to its carcinogenic components, which include polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, N-nitrosamines, aromatic amines, 1,3-butadiene, benzene, aldehydes and ethylene oxide. When the body's immune system is unable to repair the damages caused, the pleural cells undergo abnormal multiplication and proliferation, causing lung cancer.

Smoking damages healthy cells causing them to multiply profusely to induce lung cancer. As smoke reaches the lungs directly, the cancer-causing toxic particles affect them the most. Also affected are the mouth and oesophagus.

A study published on the website of National Library of Medicine has shown that smoke from a cigarette contains toxic particles like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, N-nitrosamines, aromatic amines, 1,3-butadiene, benzene, aldehydes, and ethylene oxide which are known to cause lung cancer.

These toxic particles damage the inner lining of the lungs and change the genetic structure of the lung cells. Initially, the natural immune system may be able to repair the damage. However, if repair mechanisms fail, the damaged cells behave abnormally and quickly multiply. The natural immune system cannot keep up with the growth and the damaged abnormal cells accumulate and spread causing lung cancer.

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Disclaimer
Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can further read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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