Smoking Was Linked to Breast Cancer
Women may have one more reason to stop smoking. Besides leading to lung cancer, stokes, heart attacks and various diseases, a recent study declares that smoking may even increase the risk of breast cancer.
All scientists have known for years that smoking causes lung cancer and about nine types of tumors, according to the National Center Institute. Annually smoking kills approximately 5.7 million people all over the world, in accordance to findings presented by the World Health Organization (WHO).
But smoking influence on breast cancer has been not so clear, because various studies demonstrated various results. The present study seems to be the largest in this sphere, including the records of the long-standing Nurses’ Health Study, which examined 111,000 women from 1976 to 2006.
“Smoking one pack per day before menopause may raise a woman’s risk of breast cancer from 1 in 8 to about 1 in 7.5,” declared Walter Willett, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health.
According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), smoking raises a woman’s risk of lung cancer by 13 times.
“In its turn, the influence of smoking on breast cancer is not quite evident, but this adds to many other harmful effects of tobacco,” Willet states.
Exposure to secondhand smoke didn’t seem to increase the women’s risk, according to researches.
But it was found that smoking affects the breast differently, depending on the woman’s age. For instance, those women who started to smoke early in life had an 18% higher risk of breast cancer.
“This is true, because practically all smokers, man or woman, light up when young,” stated Stanton Glantz, director of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California-San Francisco. He mentions that breast tissue is the most susceptible to carcinogens within the years before a young woman becomes mother.
Still the correlation between smoking and breast tumors is complex. Smoking after menopause in fact decreased the risk of breast cancer to a very little degree may be because tobacco works against estrogen, a hormone that causes the majority of breast tumors.
But this doesn’t mean that doctors advise to use tobacco products. Older women who smoke tobacco are more susceptible to heart attacks, strokes and other health hazards.
On the one hand, this study is good news, because there are few practical things, which women can do in order to decrease their breast cancer risk. The major causes of breast cancer risk are: the age at which girls enter puberty and the age at which they gave birth for the first time.
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