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An understanding of smoking and cancer

  • Posted on- Aug 25, 2015
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Smoking- a life threatening link between cancer of the mouth, stomach, throat, lungs, colon, bladder and healthy life. It is the most common cause of death among people suffering from these cancers. When alcohol consumption is added to smoking, an individual’s chances of getting cancer increases manifold.

The most common form of cancer caused by smoking is the lung cancer. Approximately 1 in 4 smokers will die of lung cancer (It’s that much dangerous). While male smokers have 20% increased risk of getting lung cancer, the number for women smokers is 13%.

Doctors for years have known smoking to be the prime cause of lung cancer. Even today, 9 out of 10 lung cancer cases come up because of smoking cigarettes. Smokers of today are at greater risk as compared to smokers, say, 40 years back, even though they smoke less. The reason may be the substance used by companies in making of cigarettes.

We all know harmful substances make up a cigarette smoke. Out of these, 60 substances can cause cancer. The cancer-causing chemicals are found in the TAR, ¾ of which is inhaled by the person who is smoking. Benzpyrene is a substance found in the TAR of cigarette smoke which is responsible for destroying the genes in the body that control cancer cell growth. Over a period of time, toxins from cigarette smoke stimulate the lungs into formation of cancerous cells.

Tumor development may be benign or malignant. Benign tumors are not life-threatening unless they get big in size. They develop slowly and do not spread to other parts of the body. On the contrary, malignant tumors are dangerous, life- threatening because cells present in these tumors multiply hysterically, destroying surrounding tissues. The cancerous cells then relocate in other parts of the body.

Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell (SCLC) lung cancer are two types of lung cancer. SCLC is related to smoking and more aggressive. Some of the symptoms of lung cancer include:


The sole way to prevent smoking-related-cancers is to quit smoking. Further, you cut your chances of getting other forms of cancer by almost half.

If detected early, tumors can be surgically removed. But the thing is why need of a surgery when you can prevent cancer by altering lifestyle. Saying NO to smoking improves the outlook for cancer patients. People who continue smoking after cancer diagnosis are susceptible to secondary cancer. They are likely to die when compared to non-smokers.