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Does Smoking Cigarettes Cause Breast Cancer

Results Of The Individual Studies

Mayo Clinic Minute: Why cancer patients should stop smoking

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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Is It Important For Someone Diagnosed With Cancer To Quit Smoking

Quitting smoking improves the prognosis of cancer patients. For patients with some cancers, quitting smoking at the time of diagnosis may reduce the risk of dying by 30% to 40% . For those having surgery, chemotherapy, or other treatments, quitting smoking helps improve the bodys ability to heal and respond to therapy . It also lowers the risk of pneumonia and respiratory failure . In addition, quitting smoking may lower the risk that the cancer will recur, that a second cancer will develop, or that the person will die from the cancer or other causes .

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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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What Is Tobacco Smoke

Tobacco smoke is a mixture of gases and chemicals that is sent into the air during the burning of tobacco products or from the smoke that is exhaled by a smoker. The smoke that is present in the environment contains multiple chemicals linked to breast cancer, such as benzene and vinyl chloride, both designated as known carcinogens by the International Agency for Research on Cancer or the National Toxicology Program,,, as well as 1, 3-butadiene, toluene, and nicotine-derived nitrosamine ketone that may cause mammary tumors in animals. NNK is a tobacco-specific carcinogen that studies have shown to increase tumor cell proliferation and the transformation of healthy breast epithelial cells into cancer cells.,,

Passive smoke is the involuntary exposure to somebody elses tobacco smoke. Passive smokers inhale secondhand smoke from the exhaled smoke of active smokers, and also from the smoke that emerges from smoldering tobacco. Of increasing concern are exposures to third hand smoke, that is, contamination from active smoking that remains in indoor environments long after first and second hand smoke has been released into the air. Third hand smoke is found in in many places, including carpets, furniture, blankets, toys, and even on walls. Over time, as the chemicals from second hand smoke break down, the concentrations of NNK rise and surpass levels found in both active and second-hand smoke residues.

Who Is Most Likely To Be Exposed To Tobacco Smoke

An Association between Cigarette Smoking and Breast Cancer ...

Those exposed include tobacco smokers, whether they use cigarettes, pipes, or vaping devices, and non-smokers around them who inhale air polluted with tobacco smoke. Current evidence suggests that both active and secondhand exposure can increase breast cancer risk, even though women who are exposed to secondhand smoke receive a much lower dose of carcinogens than do active smokers.,

The Womens Health Study indicated that 88 percent of people who have never smoked were exposed to passive smoking in their lifetime, so most people will be exposed to tobacco smoke during their lifetime.

While everyone is vulnerable to exposures from third-hand smoke, children especially toddlersare especially vulnerable to both exposures to, and effects of, third hand smoke. For example, toddlers are more likely to roll around in contaminated carpets or to inhale dust particles containing NNK. During these critical times of development, these chemicals may have profound effects on developing systems, including breast tissue.

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Its Far Safer Than Smoking

While news stories pop up with regularity making claims about the dangers of vaping, there is still an overwhelming amount of evidence to prove otherwise as can be seen in this recent rebuttal to the claim that nicotine in vaping can cause cancer.

Bottom line: if you cant do without a nicotine fix, stepping away from tobacco and moving towards an artificial replacement is a highly recommended.

How Does Smoking Cause Breast Cancer

Medical studies from the last twenty years agree that smoking is bad news when it comes to breast cancer. Smoking increases breast cancer recurrenceThe reappearance of the disease after it has been treated. In breast cancer, recurrence following primary breast cancer can be local , regional or metastatic ., increases breast cancer mortality and is linked to poor prognosisThe expected or likely outcome of a disease, usually based on a statistical analysis of large groups of patients. . In addition, smoking between a womans first period and first pregnancy is particularly risky.

We know that smoking is a substantial risk factor for breast cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute at least 250 chemicals found in tobacco smoke are known to be harmful and at least 69 of those have been shown to cause cancer in general, not just breast cancer. We know chemicals from cigarette smoke reach the breast because those chemicals have been found in the breast fluid of female smokers and lactating women. Numerous carcinogenic chemicals found in cigarette smoke are known to induce mammary tumors in rats.

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Colorectal Cancer And Ostomies

An ostomy is a surgical opening made to the body that allows waste to be eliminated from the body.13 Ostomies are used in treatment or management of cancer or other diseases.14 Ostomies are needed when the bodys normal opening is closed or altered as part of cancer treatment. An ostomy pouch is located around the opening to collect waste for removal. Ostomies are usually done during the first stages of surgical treatment to remove cancer.13 For patients with colorectal cancer, a colostomy can be a lifesaving surgery.13,14 An ostomy can be temporary or permanent.13,14 Temporary ostomies are used while the affected area of the body heals. Permanent ostomies are used when cancer has resulted in the removal of the entire colon or the end of it.13,14

Additional Resources

The United Ostomy Associations of America external icon website focuses on the positive quality of life people can attain following ostomy surgery and provides information on a variety of topics, including:

  • Descriptions of ostomy terms
  • Tips for living with an ostomy
  • Support groups
  • Ways to connect with others who have had ostomy surgery
  • Medical information
  • Information for specific individuals
  • Information about food and nutrition

Does Smoking Cause Breast Cancer

Is There a Link Between Smoking and Breast Cancer?

What are the statistics of breast cancer in women who smoke? I am 30 years old.

Andrew Weil, M.D. | October 4, 2005

Smoking is not considered a major risk for breast cancer, and overall, it may present no risk at all. But some studies have suggested that smoking may increase the risk of breast cancer in certain women. A study published in the November 18, 2002, issue of the British Journal of Cancer analyzed data from 53 epidemiological studies, including 58,515 women with breast cancer and 95,067 women who did not have breast cancer. It concluded that smoking had little or no independent effect on the incidence of breast cancer. But there appear to be some exceptions:

Whatever your personal risk of breast cancer, please bear in mind that lung cancer will kill 68,510 American women this year, more than breast and ovarian cancer combined. You also should know that almost 90 percent of all lung cancer that occurs in women is caused by smoking, and that women are 1.5 times more likely to develop lung cancer than men are. And dont forget that smoking also increases your risk of heart disease, the number-one killer of women.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

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Vaping And Breast Cancer Risk

In recent years, vaping with e-cigarettes, vape pens, Juul devices, or similar products has become increasingly popular. These devices dont contain tobacco, so many people believe that they are not as harmful as cigarettes. However, they do contain nicotine and carcinogens .

Because vaping is so new, medical researchers havent studied its long-term effects. They dont yet know whether vaping leads to breast cancer. However, some early studies show that there may be a link. One laboratory study found that e-cigarettes could make breast cancer cells grow more quickly and resist death. Another found that e-cigarette exposure made breast cancer cells more likely to spread to the lungs. However, studies in this area have not yet been conducted in humans.

Is There A Direct Link

A 2014 report from the Surgeon General evaluated available studies on the potential health consequences of smoking. It found sufficient evidence of potential ways in which smoking may cause breast cancer.

However, the report concluded that while the evidence is suggestive, its not enough to say that smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke causes breast cancer. More research is needed to establish a direct link between smoking and breast cancer.

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The Development And Causes Of Cancer

The fundamental abnormality resulting in the development of is the continual unregulated proliferation of cancer cells. Rather than responding appropriately to the signals that control normal cell behavior, cancer cells grow and divide in an uncontrolled manner, invading normal tissues and organs and eventually spreading throughout the body. The generalized loss of growth control exhibited by cancer cells is the net result of accumulated abnormalities in multiple cell regulatory systems and is reflected in several aspects of cell behavior that distinguish cancer cells from their normal counterparts.

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Q: If I Already Smoke Is It Too Late To Quit To Lower My Cancer Risk

Causes of Breast Cancer and Prevention of Breast Cancer ...

A: This is the good news: it is never too late to stop smoking, and doing so will lower your risk of cancer. So if you think it is too late, it is notthere is still hope! This is true even after a diagnosis of cancer or heart disease. You can still increase your chances of living longer by quitting smoking. And based on our conversation so far, that makes perfect sense, right? As soon as all those toxins and cancer-causing chemicals stop entering your body at high doses every day, you are bound to be in better health.

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Risk Factors You Cant Change

There are several breast cancer risk factors that you cannot change. These are typically related to your overall health, genetics, or family history and can include:

  • Age. A womans risk of breast cancer increases as she gets older.
  • Genetics. Some genetic mutations raise the risk of breast cancer. Some that you may be familiar with are BRCA1 and BRCA2.
  • Personal history. If youve already had breast cancer, youre more likely to develop it again. Additionally, having certain noncancerous breast conditions, such as atypical hyperplasia, is associated with an increased risk.
  • Family history. Having an immediate family member, such as a parent, sibling, or child, whos had breast cancer increases your breast cancer risk.
  • Reproductive history. Risk increases when menstruation happens early or menopause begins later. Risk is also higher for women who:
  • have never given birth
  • are at an older age at the birth of their first child
  • dont breastfeed
  • Having dense breasts. Women with dense breast tissue are at a high risk of breast cancer. Additionally, having dense breasts can make tumors more difficult to see with common screening methods like mammograms.
  • Previous radiation therapy. If youve previously had radiation therapy on your chest for another type of cancer, your risk can be higher.
  • Research Table: 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 women who smoked in the past have an increased risk of breast cancer is under study.

    Smoking is linked to an increased risk of many other types of cancer, including cancers of the lung, kidney and pancreas.

    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.

    Study population included many women at higher risk of breast cancer due to family history, or a BRCA1 or BRCA2 inherited gene mutation. Results similar for these higher risk women and other women in the study .

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    Myth: Smoking Only Affects The Lungs

    Smoking is a risk factor for at least 17 types of cancerincluding bladder cancer, breast cancer and pancreatic cancerand is estimated to kill nearly 6 million people worldwide each year. Tobacco smoke is a mixture of chemicals, at least 70 of which are known carcinogens.

    Inhaling cigarette smoke sends tobaccos carcinogenic compounds into the mouth or nose and down the windpipe, damaging tissue and cells all the way to the lungs. Smoke may damage the lining of the lungs and cilia, which are fine hairs that keep the lungs clear by sweeping out mucus and fine dirt particles.

    Cigarette smoking also:

    • Is one of the major causes of heart disease. It damages blood vessels and increases the chances of develop blood clots or plaque build-up that may lead to a heart attack or stroke
    • Damages the gums and promotes tooth decay
    • Affects the esophagus and stomach and may cause gastroesophageal reflux disease .
    • Has toxins that enter the bloodstream and are carried to other organs throughout the body and may create a host of health problems.

    Even organs with no direct exposure to tobacco smoke appeared to be affected, according to the cancer research. The study counted 18 new mutations in every bladder cell and six new mutations in every liver cell for each year the smokers inhaled a pack per day.

    Interaction With Family History

    Can Tobacco increase risk of Cancer?Benefits of quitting smoking-Dr. RajshekharCJaka|Doctors’ Circle

    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 .

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