Smoking is a habit that can have devastating effects on your health. Not only does it increase your risk of respiratory diseases and heart problems, but it is also strongly linked to various types of cancer. In fact, smoking is the leading cause of preventable cancer and is responsible for a significant number of cancer-related deaths each year.
About half of U.S. deaths caused by certain cancers — including lung, colon and pancreatic tumors — can be attributed to smoking, according to a new study published today in JAMA Network Open.
The study encompassed various forms of tobacco use, including cigarettes, other smoked tobacco products like cigars and pipes, and smokeless tobacco products such as chewing tobacco and snuff. Notably, the use of vaping products was not included in the registry’s data.
Key findings of the study include:
- Among the nearly 400,000 patients diagnosed with tobacco-related cancers during the study period, the majority were over 60 years old, non-Hispanic white, and male.
- The most affected cancers by tobacco use were lung and bladder cancer, with significant proportions of deaths attributed to tobacco in cancers of the lung, larynx, esophagus, oral cavity/pharynx, and bladder.
- Men generally had higher proportions of tobacco-related cancers compared to women, with notable differences in liver, stomach, kidney cancer, and acute myeloid leukemia.
The Dirty Dozen
Understanding the specific cancers associated with smoking can serve as a powerful motivator to quit and take control of your health. Here’s how smoking can increase your risk for these 12 forms of cancer:
1. Lung Cancer
Perhaps the most well-known association with smoking, lung cancer is a deadly disease that affects the lungs’ ability to function. Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer, and the risk increases with the number of cigarettes smoked and the duration of smoking.
2. Mouth and Throat Cancer
Smoking can lead to cancer in the mouth, throat, and esophagus. These cancers can be particularly aggressive and difficult to treat, often resulting in severe consequences for speech and swallowing.
3. Bladder Cancer
Smokers are at a higher risk of developing bladder cancer compared to non-smokers. The harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke can damage the bladder lining, increasing the likelihood of cancerous growths.