A UK study has revealed that lung cancer can exist undetected for over 20 years before growing into an aggressive form of the disease.
The research, published in the journal, Science, looked at the lung cancers of seven people with the disease, including smokers, ex-smokers and those who have never smoked.
The scientists found that, following the early genetic faults that cause lung cancer to develop, the disease can lie dormant for many years before new, additional, genetic faults cause it to become aggressive.
According to the researchers, these findings draw attention to the need for earlier detection of lung cancer. Currently, most people with the disease are diagnosed with advanced forms, at the point where treatments are less likely to be effective.
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