RIO DE JANEIRO, July 29 (UPI) -- Researchers in Canada say they have linked some lung tumors with arsenic -- a natural element in the environment.
Victor Martinez, researcher at the British Columbia Cancer Research Center, said arsenic contaminated water is a global threat, currently affecting more than 100 million people.
Both genetic and epigenetic -- epigenetics is the study of heritable changes -- drive arsenic-induced carcinogenesis, or creation of cancer, and lung cancer is one of the main consequences of this process, Martinez said.
"Lung tumors induced by arsenic are different molecular entities and specific therapeutic approaches should be considered," Martinez said in a statement. "These results may help to prevent arsenic-related cancer in other parts of the world, such as United States and Canada, where exposure to arsenic -- even at low levels -- has been also linked with lung cancer and other diseases."
Arsenic contaminated water is a global threat, currently affecting more than 100 million people, Martinez said.
The findings were published in the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer and presented at the 5th Latin American Conference on Lung Cancer in Rio de Janeiro.