TOBACCO AND CANCER

  • Lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer death among Indian women
  • Women’s death rates due to lung cancer have risen 600% since 1950
  • About 90% of all lung cancer deaths are attributable to smoking
  • Chewing tobacco and snuff contain 28 different carcinogens
    Smoking is a major cause of cancers of the oropharynx (base of the tongue) and bladder among women.
  • Women who smoke have increased risks for cancers of the pancreas and kidney.
  • Larynx and esophagus cancer rates are also elevated
    Research shows that smokers infected with human papillomavirus have greater risk of developing invasive cervical cancer than nonsmokers with the virus.
  • Indian women have cervical cancer rates 3.5 times the national average. Tobacco is one of the behavioral factors considered to elevate the risk of cervical cancer.

According to National cancer Institiue Tobacco use is a leading cause of cancer and of death from cancer. People who use tobacco products or who are regularly around environmental tobacco smoke (also called secondhand smoke) have an increased risk of cancer because tobacco products and secondhand smoke have many chemicals that damage DNA.

Tobacco use causes many types of cancer, including cancer of the lung, larynx (voice box), mouth, esophagus, throat, bladder, kidney, liver, stomach, pancreas, colon and rectum, and cervix, as well as acute myeloid leukemia. People who use smokeless tobacco (snuff or chewing tobacco) have increased risks of cancers of the mouth, esophagus, and pancreas.

There is no safe level of tobacco use. People who use any type of tobacco product are strongly urged to quit.  People who quit smoking, regardless of their age, have substantial gains in life expectancy compared with those who continue to smoke. Also, quitting smoking at the time of a cancer diagnosis reduces the risk of death.