Lung cancer research evidence shows oxygen as an inhaled carcinogen

Lung cancer research evidence shows oxygen as an inhaled carcinogen

A new study carried out by researchers at Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania has found that oxygen may be acting as a carcinogen in case of lung cancer. The study has been published in PeerJ. The study was about how living at higher altitudes reduces risk of lung cancer in both […]

A new study carried out by researchers at Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania has found that oxygen may be acting as a carcinogen in case of lung cancer. The study has been published in PeerJ.

The study was about how living at higher altitudes reduces risk of lung cancer in both smokers as well as non-smokers and researchers have deduced that inhaled oxygen could be acting as a carcinogen and promoting the incidence of lung cancer.

According to the study, for every 1,000-meter rise in elevation, lung cancer incidence in the population living in that area decreased by 7.23 cases per 100,000 individuals. The researchers did not find similar pronounced effects for elevation on colorectal, breast, and prostate cancer, all of which are also prevalent in the United States (US)

Kamen P Simeonov, an MD-PhD Trainee at University of Pennsylvania and co-author of the study, said that lower atmospheric pressure at higher elevations results in less inhaled oxygen, sometimes as much as one-third less than low-elevation areas and this factor might explain why lung cancer incidence rates decrease as geographic elevation increases, but not rates for such equally pernicious cancers as colorectal, breast, and prostate.

“Overall, our findings suggest the presence of an inhaled carcinogen inherently and inversely tied to elevation, offering epidemiological support for oxygen-driven tumorigenesis”, the researchers noted.

Some of the other factors that researchers studied for their research include amount of sunlight, precipitation, temperature, and pollution. For lung cancer, elevation performed by far the best. The second best (radon) was 10 caret eight times worse. Sunlight was over 10 caret 13 times worse.

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