Thursday June 20, 2019

Smoking Can Damage Immunity of Skin Cancer Patients, Says Study

For the study, the team included more than 700 melanoma patients

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Smoking may damage the immune response against melanoma and limit patients’ survival chances, according to a new study.

 Melanoma patients with a history of smoking cigarettes are 40 per cent less likely to survive their skin cancer than people who have never smoked within a decade after their diagnosis, according to the study, published in the journal Cancer Research.

Other researchers have reported that smoking have adverse effects on the immune system, but it is not yet known which chemicals are responsible for this.

“The immune system is like an orchestra, with multiple pieces. This research suggests that smoking might disrupt how it works together in tune, allowing the musicians to continue playing but possibly in a more disorganised way,” said lead researcher Julia Newton-Bishop, Professor at the University of Leeds.

Smoking could directly affect how smokers’ bodies deal with the melanoma cancer cells, said the researchers.

Other than chronic diseases, lifestyle habits like smoking causes cancer too. Pixabay
Other than chronic diseases, lifestyle habits like smoking causes cancer too. Pixabay

“Overall, these results show that smoking could limit the chances of melanoma patients’ survival so it’s especially important that they are given all the support possible to give up smoking for good,” said Julie Sharp, head at Cancer Research UK in Britain.

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This is the reason why people should try to give up smoking, particularly those who have been diagnosed with malignant melanoma, suggested the researchers.

For the study, the team included more than 700 melanoma patients. (IANS)

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Smoking May Increase Risk of Developing Hypertension, Warn Researchers

The results were published in the American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology

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FILE - New findings show that smoking causes devastating genetic damage, or mutations, in the cells of various organs in the body. VOA

Smoking may increase the risk of developing hypertension by impairing the body’s blood pressure autocorrect system, warn researchers.

“The human body has a buffering system that continuously monitors and maintains a healthy blood pressure. If blood pressure drops, a response called muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA) is triggered to bring blood pressure back up to normal levels,” said Lawrence Sinoway from Penn State University in the US.

An additional system — called the baroreflex — helps correct if blood pressure gets too high, he added.

According to Sinoway, the study found that after a burst of MSNA, the rise in blood pressure in a chronic smoker was about twice as great as in a non-smoker, pushing blood pressure to unhealthy levels. The researchers suspect that impairment of baroreflex may be the culprit.

“When the sympathetic nervous system fires, like with MSNA, your blood pressure rises and then a series of things happen to buffer that increase, to try to attenuate it,” Sinoway said.

“We think that in smokers, that buffering — the baroreflex — is impaired.”

Other than chronic diseases, lifestyle habits like smoking causes cancer too. Pixabay
Other than chronic diseases, lifestyle habits like smoking causes cancer too. Pixabay

The results suggest that this impairment may be connected to hypertension, said Jian Cui, Associate Professor at Penn State College of Medicine.

“The greater rise in blood pressure in response to MSNA may contribute to a higher resting blood pressure level in smokers without hypertension,” Cui said.

“It’s possible that this higher response to MSNA could also contribute to the eventual development of hypertension,” Cui added.

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The researchers said that while previous research has found a link between chronic smokers and higher levels of MSNA bursts, less was known about what happened to blood pressure after these bursts.

For the study, the researchers examined 60 participants — 18 smokers and 42 non-smokers. None of the participants had hypertension.

The results were published in the American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology. (IANS)