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Breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women in the United States, and cigarette smoking is associated with a higher incidence of breast cancer spread, or metastasis, lowering the survival rate by 33% at diagnosis.

While cigarette smoking’s link to cancer is well-known, the role of nicotine, a non-carcinogenic chemical found in tobacco, in breast-to-lung metastasis is an area where more research is needed.

Now, scientists at Wake Forest School of Medicine have found that nicotine promotes the spread of breast cancer cells into the lungs.