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Building on basics

Burning questions

"Studies of migrant workers and prisoners show latent or active disease occurs more frequently among smokers," Murin explains. "It's also a risk factor for children who are exposed to TB and whose parents are smokers."

And finally, women smokers who are diagnosed with breast cancer are more likely to develop lung metastasis.

This latter finding is the focus of Murin's current research. It's a matter of some interest since, for all its noxious impacts, cigarette smoking is not a risk factor for breast cancer.

You read that right. Women who puff away have a greater chance of developing lung cancer, head and neck cancer, heart disease, emphysema and dozens of other ailments - but not breast cancer.

But according to a study Murin recently completed that is supported by other research, women smokers diagnosed with breast cancer have a statistically higher risk of breast cancer spreading to the lungs. Anytime cancer spreads to a distant site, it's more difficult to treat and more likely to be fatal. What if smoking makes this happen more readily?


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