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Can Smoking Cause Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer At Age 61

How Does Smoking Cause Cancer?

The women were followed up for an average of 20 years, and up to 27 years for some of them.

The researchers waited until now to identify enough new cases of breast cancer to make the findings as accurate as possible.

The vast majority of women who had breast cancer were between 45 and 79 years old when they were diagnosed.

Those who had been exposed to passive smoking from their parents were on average a little over 61 years old when they were diagnosed.

Smoking And Breast Cancer Risk

This summary table contains detailed information about research studies. Summary tables are a useful way to look at the science behind many breast cancer guidelines and recommendations. However, to get the most out of the tables, its important to understand some key concepts. Learn how to read a research table.

Introduction: Women who smoke for many years may have a slightly increased risk of breast cancer. Women who are current smokers and have been smoking for more than 10 years appear to have about a 10 percent higher risk of breast cancer than women whove never smoked .

Women who are current smokers but have smoked for less than 10 years dont appear to have an increased risk of breast cancer.

Whether the risk of breast cancer is increased in past smokers is under study.

Smoking increases the risk of many other types of cancer .

*Please note, the information provided within Komen Perspectives articles is only current as of the date of posting. Therefore, some information may be out of date.

Study selection criteria: Prospective cohort studies with at least 1,000 breast cancer cases, pooled analyses and meta-analyses.

Table note: Relative risk above 1 indicates increased risk. Relative risk below 1 indicates decreased risk.

NS = No statistically significant increase or decrease in risk

Most participants were premenopausal.

Toxins In Secondhand Smoke Target Breast Tissue

  • Tobacco smoke contains multiple fatsoluble compounds known to induce mammary tumors.1,3
  • Of the 50 known cancercausing agents in cigarettes, 20 specifically target breast tissue and mammary glands.1
  • Chemicals from tobacco smoke reach breast tissue and have been found in breast fluid and breast milk.4

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Who Is Most Vulnerable To The Health Effects

Overall, research suggests earlier exposures to tobacco smoke are of greater concern.

  • Some studies indicate smoking before a first full-term pregnancy may increase the risk of a later diagnosis of breast cancer.,
  • Smoking during adolescence has been found to be associated with increased breast cancer risk.,,,,
  • Studies also suggest increased risk of breast cancer for pre-menopausal women.
  • Individuals who have smoked for a long time or have smoked heavily seemed to have higher risks for breast cancer.

Vapor Smoke Vs Cigarette Smoke

How smoking causes cancer  mylittlebreathingspace ...

So the question is, does vapor smoke have the same cancer-causing properties as cigarette smoke?

Smoke from e-cigarettes is different from cigarette smoke. While cigarette smoke results from the burning of tobacco and other cigarette additives, e-cigs create smoke by heating a liquid, creating a chemical-filled aerosol which is then inhaled. Since they dont contain combustion byproducts , e-cigarettes do offer an improvement over traditional cigarettes in this area. According to a FDA-sponsored report, there is substantial evidence that except for nicotine, under typical conditions of use, exposure to potentially toxic substances from e-cigarettes is significantly lower compared with combustible tobacco cigarettes.

But whats in vapor smoke exactly? Heres the thing, we dont know. Because e-cigarettes only recently came under FDA regulation in 2016, many e-cig manufacturers havent registered and submitted product data and only preliminary regulations have been created. We know at a minimum that most e-cigs contain tobacco-extracted nicotine, a base , and most contain colors, flavorings, and other additives.

And in 2015, the New England Journal of Medicine reported that multiple samples of e-cigarette vapor contained formaldehyde-releasing agents, thought to be a byproduct of the vaporization of the propylene glycol e-liquid base. Researchers stated,

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Busted: 7 Myths About Smoking And Cancer

Kicking the tobacco habit is never a bad idea, and its never a bad time to quit. Maybe you have a baby on the way. Your new partner doesnt like the smell. Perhaps you realize the money youd save by quitting. Or maybe youve been diagnosed with a serious health condition or disease, like cancer.

Of course, if quitting was easy, 40 million Americans may not still be smoking, despite the known health risks. Studies, in fact, show that up to 90 percent of smokers who try to quit relapse in the first year. The good news is that the relapse rate drops up to 4 percent for each year a smoker abstains from cigarettes.

So, if youre looking for reasons to quit, here are some busted myths about smoking that may inspire you to kick the habit.

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Measurement Of Exposures And Confounders

All information on exposures and confounders used in this analysis was collected at baseline. Information on active smoking included smoking status , and women who were current or former smokers were also asked the age at which they started smoking, the number of cigarettes smoked per day, and the duration of smoking in years. Among former smokers, age at quitting smoking was also collected. Pack years of smoking were calculated by multiplying the total years of smoking by the number of cigarettes smoked a day divided by 20.

Questions on exposure to passive smoking related to each of the following: childhood , adult home, adult work, current home, and current work . Women who reported any of these exposures were also asked the number of years of exposure in childhood, as an adult at home, and as an adult at work .

The potential confounders used in multivariable analyses included age at enrolment , ethnicity , education , body mass index , physical activity , alcohol intake , parity , family history of breast cancer , history of hormone therapy use , age at menarche , and age of first live birth .

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Interaction With Family History

As in previous studies, we excluded from analysis women with prevalent breast or other malignant cancer or prevalent in situ breast cancer at recruitment we restricted the analysis to invasive breast cancer and we adjusted for menopausal status and BMI , potential confounding variables that may also be influenced by smoking. There was little scope for bias from unascertained mortality or exits, or for erroneous reporting of breast cancer, because follow-up for vital and breast cancer status was obtained for 99% of participants and confirmation of reported breast cancers for over 99%. Our smoking information was gained at recruitment and from follow-up questionnaires 6 years later, and we were able to update smoking status, so that women who gave up smoking were classified as former smokers from that point in time. Only a small number of other cohort studies have been able to update smoking exposure through follow-up. One limitation of our study is that we have no direct information on passive smoking, and therefore our risk estimates might be underestimated if never smokers were exposed to passive smoking and if this exposure affects risk of breast cancer .

Results Of The Individual Studies

Is There a Link Between Smoking and Breast Cancer?

Characteristics and results of the individual studies can be seen in Table S1.

All-cause death

Ten articles reported HRs for all-cause deaths in former smokers . Four found a statistically significant increase in mortality with HRs ranging from 1.11â1.47 .

Ten articles reported HRs for all-cause deaths in current smokers . Eight found a significant increase in mortality with HRs ranging from 1.16â2.45 .

Breast cancer-associated death

Nine articles reported HRs for breast cancer associated deaths in former smokers . Ordóñez-Mena et al. was the only one finding a statistically significant increase in mortality, HR 1.15 . Pierce et al., who stratified their group of former smokers into subgroups depending on pack-years smoked found a statistically significant increase among those who had smoked > 35 py .

Ten articles reported HRs for breast cancer associated deaths in current smokers . Five detected a statistically significant increase in mortality with HRs ranging from 1.15â1.73 .

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One In 14 Cases Of Breast Cancer Related To Second

The researchers found a clear prevalence of breast cancer among women who had been exposed to second-hand smoke as children.

Our main finding shows that one in 14 cases of breast cancer among all the women in the study could be linked to passive smoking in childhood, Gram says.

This corresponds to seven percent of the cancer cases, which is a high number since breast cancer is one of the most common cancers today.

One in ten cases of breast cancer in participants who were exposed to second-hand smoke could have been avoided had they not been exposed to second-hand smoke as children.

We believe this finding is yet another important reason to protect children and young girls from tobacco smoke, says Gram.

Smoking Linked To Higher Risk Of Breast Cancer

Doctors have long suspected some type of link between cigarette smoking and breast cancer risk, but research results have been mixed. A large study has found that smoking increases breast cancer risk in women, especially women who start smoking before they have their first child.

The research was published online on Feb. 28, 2013 by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Read the abstract of Active Smoking and Breast Cancer Risk: Original Cohort Data and Meta-Analysis.

While many earlier studies found a slight increase in overall breast cancer risk for women who smoke, they didnt find that smoking more cigarettes per day or smoking for more years increased risk even more. Also, the effects of drinking alcohol affected many of these studies. Alcohol is a risk factor for breast cancer and women who smoke are more likely to drink alcohol. So it was difficult for the researchers to tease out how much only smoking or only drinking alcohol was affecting breast cancer risk.

In this study, researchers looked at information from nearly 74,000 women in the American Cancer Societys Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort, a large long-term study looking at lifestyle factors and cancer prevention. When the study started in 1992, the women were ages 50 to 74. They reported how much they smoked currently, as well as their smoking history. At the beginning of the study:

  • 8% of the women smoked
  • 36% of the women had quit smoking
  • 56% of the women had never smoked

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Are Lingering Smoking Odors Harmful

Theres very little research so far on whether lingering tobacco smoke odors or residuals from it on surfaces can cause cancer in people. Research does show that particles from secondhand tobacco smoke can settle in dust and on surfaces and remain there long after the smoke is gone. Some studies suggest the particles can last for months. Even though its no longer in the form of smoke, researchers often call this thirdhand smoke or residual tobacco smoke.

Particles that settle out from tobacco smoke have been shown to combine with gases in the air to form cancer-causing compounds that settle onto surfaces. For instance, some of the carcinogens that are known to cause lung cancer have been found in dust samples taken from the homes of people who smoke. Research has also shown that thirdhand smoke can damage human DNA in cell cultures and might increase lung cancer risk in lab animals.

Though its not yet clear if such smoke residue can cause cancer, any effects would probably be small compared with direct exposure to SHS. Still, the compounds may be stirred up and inhaled with other house dust, and may also be accidentally taken in through the mouth. Because of this, any risk the compounds pose is probably greater for babies and children who play on the floor and often put things in their mouths.

The health risks of THS are an active area of research.

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Smoking And Risk Of Breast Cancer In The Generations Study Cohort

How Smoking Can Cause Breast Cancer

Cigarette smoke is a known cause of many types of cancer. The association between smoking and breast cancer is strongly suspected but not consistently proven in the scientific literature. This group tried to determine a link between the habit and the disease.

The Generations Study began in the United Kingdom in 2003. Women aged 16 and older were invited to participate. They were given questionnaires over a 9½ year period, and answered questions about their health and lifestyle habits, including cigarette smoking. Diagnosis of breast cancer was identified in the questionnaire responses as well as in the nations national health database. Over 102,000 women participated in this project.

The investigators found that a history of cigarette smoking increased the risk of breast cancer and the risk climbed with the number of cigarettes smoked per day. The risk of the disease rose with each year of smoking up to 10 years. Smoking habits for longer than 10 years did not lead to greater risks of breast cancer. Breast cancer risk continued to be elevated for the first 20 years after smoking cessation.

Age played a significant role. Breast cancer risk was increased if women began smoking younger than age 17 or between 17 and 19. The risk of breast cancer was not affected when women began smoking at older ages. The risk of breast cancer with smoking was greatest if the habit began before the start of menses .

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Side Effects Of Cannabinoid Drugs

Like many other drugs, the prescription cannabinoids, dronabinol and nabilone, can cause side effects and complications.

Some people have trouble with increased heart rate, decreased blood pressure , dizziness or lightheadedness, and fainting. These drugs can cause drowsiness as well as mood changes or a feeling of being high that some people find uncomfortable. They can also worsen depression, mania, or other mental illness. Some patients taking nabilone in studies reported hallucinations. The drugs may increase some effects of sedatives, sleeping pills, or alcohol, such as sleepiness and poor coordination. Patients have also reported problems with dry mouth and trouble with recent memory.

Older patients may have more problems with side effects and are usually started on lower doses.

People who have had emotional illnesses, paranoia, or hallucinations may find their symptoms are worse when taking cannabinoid drugs.

Talk to your doctor about what you should expect when taking one of these drugs. Its a good idea to have someone with you when you first start taking one of these drugs and after any dose changes.

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What Are The Risk Factors For Breast Cancer

Being a woman and getting older are the main risk factors for breast cancer.

Studies have shown that your risk for breast cancer is due to a combination of factors. The main factors that influence your risk include being a woman and getting older. Most breast cancers are found in women who are 50 years old or older.

Some women will get breast cancer even without any other risk factors that they know of. Having a risk factor does not mean you will get the disease, and not all risk factors have the same effect. Most women have some risk factors, but most women do not get breast cancer. If you have breast cancer risk factors, talk with your doctor about ways you can lower your risk and about screening for breast cancer.

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Risk Of Bias In Individual Studies

To determine the risk of bias in the individual studies both authors evaluated the included articles on the risk of selection bias, recall bias, information bias, misclassification bias, as well their assessment of exposure, outcome, follow-up time and the adjustments made. Each outcome was deemed âlow risk of biasâ, âintermediate risk of biasâ or âhigh risk of biasâ. âLow risk of biasâ was given to those articles who were thoroughly discussing their article in relation to the specific bias. âIntermediate risk of biasâ was given to those who were not specifically stating how the bias affected their results, but where we as readers had to evaluate this. âHigh risk of biasâ was given to the articles where we did not feel an evaluation of the bias could be made sufficiently .

Figure S1

Female Food Service Workers Are Disproportionately Affected

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  • Waitresses have the highest prevalence of exposure to secondhand smoke of any occupational group.7
  • Young women between puberty and first full term pregnancy, who are more likely than men to work in the hospitality industry, are most at risk for secondhand smoke related breast cancer.
  • Nonsmoking women who work as waitresses have the highest rates of lung cancer than women who work in any other occupational group.8

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How Does Smoking Cause Cancer

  • Smoking is the biggest preventable cause of cancer in the UK, and worldwide.
  • Harmful chemicals in cigarette smoke affect the entire body not just our lungs. And smoking causes at least 15 different cancer types.
  • There is no safe level of smoking – stopping completely is the best thing you can do for your health, and there are many support and quitting options available.

Whats My Cancer Risk From Smoking

Our bodies are designed to deal with a bit of damage, but they often cant cope with the amount of harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke.

Both the amount you smoke, and the length of time youve been smoking for affect your cancer risk.

The more cigarettes you smoke a day, the higher your risk of cancer, so reducing the number of daily cigarettes you smoke can be a good first step.

But the number of years you spend smoking affects your cancer risk most strongly. So its important to make a plan to stop smoking completely.

Remember, the sooner you stop, the lower your risk of cancer. Everyone who smokes can benefit from stopping, and its never too late to stop- even if youve smoked for years . Speak to your GP or pharmacist, or visit NHS Smokefree for free support to help you stop for good.

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