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Smoking and cancer in seven questions


Most of the people know that smoking increase the risk of having cancer and many other diseases. Well, beside this well-known fact, how does cigarette smoke cause illnesses and how high is the risk of cancer in smokers? Here is the relationship between cancer and cigarettes within 7 questions.

1- Why does smoking cause cancer?

According to the data released by the Federal Centre for Health Education in Germany, there are approximately 5 thousand kinds of chemicals in the tobacco. It is said that some 90 items in the tobacco are cancer-triggering, and some are suspected of triggering cancer. These substances are ingested as absorbed by the mucosa and lungs.

2- How do these chemical substances cause cancer?

It is controlled by the body whether or not the cell regeneration takes place. The key point in this regard is the genetic inheritance. Cancer-triggering substances in tobacco disrupt this control of the body. They alter the genetic inheritance of DNA and thus gain control over the cell division. This can lead to the production of a large number of cells that can cause cancer. Our mind has the means to correct this kind of DNA damage; however the poisonous substances taken to the body by smoking prevent these mechanisms from working.

3- Smoking increases the susceptibility to which types of cancer in particular?

Smoking harms the DNA in the tissues through which the substances in the cigarette pass through directly to the tissues, such as in the mouth or in the lungs. But, it is also possible that the cancer-triggering substances circulate within the body and cause tumescence in other regions. Smokers are particularly at high risk for lung, throat, and oral cancer. There is also a link between cigarette smoking and blood cancer, pancreatic cancer, kidney cancer, urinary tract cancer and cervical cancer.

4- How high is the risk of getting cancer in smokers?

According to the Federal Centre for Health Education in Germany, smoking accounts for 25 to 30 percent of cancer cases. According to data released by the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg, one in every 10 smokers gets lung cancer later in life. Cancer appears between 30 and 40 years after you start smoking. At this point, it is also important how much one smokes.

5- What is the number of people who die from smoking?

According to the updated data of the 2015 German Cigarette Atlas, the number of people who died from cigarette smoking until 2013 is 121 thousand. This figure constitutes 13.5 per cent of deaths. The number of cancer deaths caused by cigarette smoke is 58 thousand 758.


6 – Does passive smoking increase the risk of cancer?

Even if a person does not smoke himself, he is taking many harmful substances into his body by breathing the smoke. Experts estimate that hundreds of people get lung cancer every year due to passive smoking. According to figures released by the German Cancer Research Center, an average of 2150 people per year are suffering from coronary heart disease due to passive smoking, and more than 770 people suffer passive smoking-related brain hemorrhage.

7- What is the effect of leaving smoking on the risk of cancer?

The risk for most cancer types is also diminishing over the next few years after you quit smoking. After 10 years, the risk of getting caught by a person who quit smoking is decreasing by half compared to the risk of having to continue smoking. However, 20 to 30 years must pass before the risk level of a nonsmoker can be reached.


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