Cancer Risk Associated With Tobacco Consumption

smoking (2)Tobacco consumption is an addiction which finds its beginning as something that most teenagers try for fun or in peer pressure. Most of the people who smoke excessively have been reported to have begun in their teens. Tobacco can be consumed via cigarettes, flavored cigarettes, cigars or in smokeless forms like spit tobacco and snuff.

Nicotine is the addictive substance found in tobacco; responsible for creating a pleasant feeling and making a smoker feel like having more of it. A typical smoker, who smokes a pack every day, takes nearly 10 puffs from every cigarette, which gives him a total of about 200 nicotine hits in a day.

Men and women who smoke die younger than their counterparts who never smoke. A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in late 1990s pointed out that a man could lose 13.2 years of his life while a woman could lose 14.5 years of life due to chronic smoking.

A smoker’s health is affected in many ways. Smoking harms every organ in the body and causes diseases like chronic bronchitis, heart attacks, emphysema and stroke. Male smokers are also prone to suffer from sexual impotence. Lung diseases caused by smoking are as fatal as lung cancer.

Tobacco and cancer

Tobacco has an alarming connection with cancer. It could be attributed to the fact that tobacco consists of nicotine as well as carcinogens. Nicotine on its own is not carcinogenic, though it is addictive and toxic in nature. It is the addiction which leads to people consuming various carcinogen laden tobacco products, which ultimately leads to cancer.

smoking-6According to the estimated figures published in ‘Cancer Facts and Figures 2013’ more than 150,000 deaths will be because of lung cancer and it has been identified as the leading form of cancer causing maximum cancer deaths in the US. What is more, the same source also stated that it is a preventable form of cancer, in fact, the most preventable one, but the most difficult to treat. It was also pointed out 20% of the total death and 30% of cancer deaths in the US happen because of tobacco usage. Out of all lung cancer deaths, 87% are caused by tobacco.

Tobacco increases the risk of not only lung cancer but also other cancers like those of the mouth, tongue, nose and sinuses, larynx, esophagus, pancreas, bladder, cervix, ovary, lips, pharynx, stomach, kidney, uterus and acute myeloid leukemia. It can also cause breast cancer in women.

According to a report presented by the US Surgeon General in 1982, cigarette smoking could be pointed out as the leading cause of cancer deaths in the US. Even after 30 years, the statement rings true. In fact, cigarette smoking is responsible for more deaths than alcohol, suicide, homicide, illegal drugs, AIDS and car accidents put together.

Whether a person or smokes or not, he could still be exposed to tobacco smoke, also called secondhand smoke. This is called passive smoking or involuntary smoking, which takes nicotine and all other toxic chemicals to the non-smoker’s internal system and damages it the same way as that of a smoker. Higher levels of secondhand smoke result in higher levels of toxic chemicals in the body. Non-smokers can even get lung cancer due to second hand smoke. Babies and young children, who have lower resistance to secondhand smoke, are prone to fall sick or even die because of it.

smoking (1)The smoke released from burning tobacco products consists of a whopping 7,000 chemicals, out of which 60 are known carcinogens. Some of the chemicals in tobacco smoke are cyanide, formaldehyde, acetylene, arsenic, cadmium, benzene, methanol, ammonia, tar and gases like nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide. The carcinogenic chemicals in tobacco can damage your DNA and make your genes go haywire. Your cells then begin to grow and multiply in an unsystematic manner and this causes cancer.

Author Bio: Sameer Gupta is a medical writer who writes well-researched, in-depth cancer articles which provide relevant information to help patients combat the deadly disease. Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) prides in providing the best cancer treatment solutions to patients who have endured to various cancer types. With cancer centers in Philadelphia, Tulsa, Chicago, Newnan etc., CTCA aims at providing the best treatment options to cancer patients.