How Is Cancer Treated
The treatment for cancer depends on the type of cancer and the stage of the disease . Doctors may also consider the patients age and general health. Often, the goal of treatment is to cure the cancer. In other cases, the goal is to control the disease or to reduce symptoms for as long as possible. The treatment plan for a person may change over time.12
Most treatment plans include surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy. Other plans involve biological therapy .12
Some cancers respond best to a single type of treatment. Other cancers may respond best to a combination of treatments.12
For patients who get very high doses of chemotherapy or radiation therapy, a stem cell transplant, also known as a bone marrow transplant, may be recommended by their doctor. This is because high-dose therapies destroy both cancer cells and normal blood cells. A stem cell transplant can help the body to make healthy blood cells to replace the ones lost due to the cancer treatment. Its a complicated procedure with many side effects and risks.12
Quitting smoking improves the outlook for people with cancer. People who continue to smoke after diagnosis raise their risk for future cancers and death. They are more likely to die from cancer than nonsmokers and are more likely to develop a second tobacco-related cancer.5
Smoking May Raise Breast Cancer Risk
Researchers say the study is the first study to look at the link between smoking and breast cancer in nearly 2,000 postmenopausal women between the ages of 65 and 79.
Women of this age range may have smoked for very long durations, they write. Risk factors relating to breast cancer vary with age. Because a woman’s breast cancer risk increases with age, the causes of breast cancer in older women may be different from younger women, they add.
“Those who did smoke had much longer histories of smoking than women in previous studies, so we were able to look at the effects of long smoking durations on breast cancer risk,” says Li.
The results showed a 30% to 40% increased risk of breast cancer among:
- Women who were current or long-term smokers
- Women who started smoking at a younger age
- Women who started smoking before the birth of their first child
The study also showed that women who had smoked cigarettes for 20 years or more and used combination hormone replacement therapy were more than twice as likely to develop breast cancer as women who have never smoked or used hormone replacement therapy.
“We are really not sure what that finding means because this correlation hasn’t been reported in prior studies,” says Li. “We only saw the association in smokers who used both estrogen and progestin and not among women who used estrogen alone. We will follow up on this finding in future studies to see if it can be replicated.”
Smoking And Survival In The Cohort
The 5,892 women with invasive breast cancer included in the analyses accumulated 41,255 person-years of follow-up; 53.9% of breast cancer cases were followed for at least 5 years, 25.7% at least 10 years, and 11.4% at least 15 years . During the follow-up period, 1,408 deaths were documented, of which 953 were from breast cancer, 441 from other causes and 14 from unknown causes. The five-year and ten-year breast cancer-specific survival estimates were 87% and 79%, respectively, and five-year and ten-year overall survival estimates were 83% and 71%, respectively.
At diagnosis, 60% of women reported having never smoked, 22% were former smokers and 18% were current smokers . Current smokers appeared to be younger, leaner and more likely to be alcohol drinkers compared with never smokers. Characteristics of the disease and treatment differed little according to smoking status.
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Smoking Can Increase Risk Of Breast Cancer By Over A Third
A woman smokes a cigarette.
Smoking is known to increase the risk of 14 different types of cancer and is responsible for 30% of cancer deaths according to the American Cancer Society. Breast cancer looks set to become the 15th type to be added to the list after a major study published this week in Breast Cancer Research showed that smoking increases a womans risk of developing breast cancer by up to 35%.
The Generations Study;collected data from;the women for an average of 7 years by sending them questionnaires about their smoking history, alcohol intake and other lifestyle choices to find out more about the causes of breast cancer. The study conducted by researchers from the Institute for Cancer Research;in London, UK analyzed data from 1,815 of the participants who developed invasive breast cancer, allowing;a comparison between women who smoked or had ever smoked and those who had never smoked.
The researchers found that the risk of developing breast cancer was greatest in individuals who began smoking before they started menstruating or had close family members with breast cancer.; Strikingly, they also found that the increased risk can persist for at least two decades after giving up smoking, although this does decline over time.
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.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Breast Cancer
The most common early symptom of breast cancer is a new lump, mass, or thickening in the breast. These can be detected on routine imaging or when performing breast self-exams.
Often, these lumps feel hard and have irregular edges. However, its also possible for a lump to be soft and more uniform in shape. Typically, lumps due to breast cancer are painless.
If you notice a new or concerning breast lump, be sure to talk with a healthcare professional. They can use various screening and diagnostic methods to help determine if the lump may be cancerous.
Other potential signs of breast cancer can include:
- skin changes on the breast, such as redness, scaliness, or skin dimpling
Study Selection And Collection Process
A computerized search was performed using MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Library and Cinahl. The last search was performed on the 27.07.2016. Reference lists of identified studies and previously published reviews were also explored. The search was limited to publication during the last 10 years and publications in the English language. The author MS searched the databases assisted by a research librarian. The search was performed using the terms; smoking, breast cancer/breast neoplasm, mortality/survival and cohorts studies. Variation of these terms was used depending on what database was being searched. All searches included MESH terms as well as a free words search. Search strategies for each individual database can be found in Supplementary file, appendix. Both authors reviewed the 146 identified articles by title and summary and the appropriate 49 were read in full to determine inclusion. Any disagreements between the reviewers were resolved by consensus and 12 articles were found to fulfill the inclusion criteria.
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Reducing Individual Risk Of Cancer And Staying Healthy
Quitting smoking reduces the risk of lung and other major cancers.37,38 Five years after quitting smoking, risk of mouth, throat, oesophageal and bladder cancers are halved, and the risk for dying from lung cancer drops by half after 10 years.39 Quitting smoking can also contribute to both short and long-term improvements in health,40-42 including: a dramatic drop in blood levels of carbon monoxide, a drop in heart rate and blood pressure, improved circulation and lung function, decreased coughing and shortness of breath, and reduced risk of coronary heart disease and stroke.43 WHO reports that people of all ages can still benefit from quitting, including those who have already developed smoking-related health problems.43
The Australian National Tobacco Campaign encourages individuals to stop smoking and provides support through the Quitline.
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.
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Vulva And Vagina Cancers
There is an association between smoking and cancer of the vulva, with reported three- to six-fold increases in risk in women who smoke. Risk increases with the duration of smoking, and remains elevated more than five years after quitting. There is some evidence that smoking raises the risk of cancer of the vagina although this association remains uncertain.
Who Is Most Likely To Be Exposed To Tobacco Smoke
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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What About Smoking Marijuana Or Using Smokeless Tobacco
There is no comprehensive research on specific links between alternative uses of tobacco or smoking marijuana on risk of developing breast cancer although these behaviors expose people to many of the same toxic chemicals found in first-, second- and third hand smoke derived from use of tobacco cigarettes.
- Although marijuana use may be an important therapeutic intervention to address the symptoms of treatment for breast cancer,,smoking marijuana exposes people to many of the same contaminants found in cigarette smoke, especially PAHs. Unlike cigarettes, most marijuana formulations do not contain nicotine.
- Use of snuff or chewing tobacco leads to a significant increase in NNK in the dust from homes of smokeless tobacco users, thereby exposing users and others in the vicinity to the toxic effects of this carcinogenic chemical that has been linked to increased breast cancer.
- E-cig use, or vaping, results in the exposures to high levels of nicotine which, in turn, is metabolized to NNK. Although no studies have examined association of e-cig second hand vapors and breast cancer risk, one study has shown similar effects on brain activity of second hand tobacco smoke and second hand e-cig vapors. Another concern with vaping is the use of undisclosed flavorings, which may have their own health effects, and also make the products attractive to teens and young adults.
Types Of Cancer Caused By Smoking
This factsheet reviews the risks of developing various types of cancer from smoking or other tobacco use. Smoking is the biggest risk factor for and largest single cause of cancer ;and approximately one third of all cancer deaths are attributable to smoking. Globally, one in five cancer deaths are caused by tobacco.
In October 2009, scientists from 10 countries met at the International Agency for Research on Cancer to reassess the carcinogenicity of several compounds, including tobacco. The review, published by The Lancet Oncology, concludes that there is sufficient evidence to confirm that smoking is a cause of 15 types of cancer: namely: cancer of the bladder, bone marrow , kidney, larynx , liver, lung, mouth , nose, oesophagus , ovaries, pancreas, pharynx and stomach. Thereport also states that there is some evidence to suggest that smoking is a cause of breast cancer.
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Studies Of Smoking And Breast Cancer In Males
Male carcinoma of the breast is a relatively uncommon disease . The extent to which studies of breast cancer in males are relevant to breast cancer in females is unknown, given the differences that may exist in their etiologies and that certainly exist in the âhormonal milieuâ in which the respective cancers develop . Nevertheless, studies of male breast cancer generally have not shown an association with cigarette smoking , although a small case-control study in Greece recently found indications of an inverse association, a finding that was based on only three cases among current smokers. Studies of smoking in relation to testosterone levels generally show no clear association among women , but in men there is some evidence for a positive association between cigarette smoking and testosterone levels and also between smoking and levels of estradiol . Free, but not bound, serum testosterone levels have been independently positively associated with breast cancer risk in women .
Smoking Before First Childbirth
Young age at first birth and increasing parity confer long-term protection against breast cancer , and animal models point to terminal differentiation of breast tissue at full-term pregnancy being important in this process . Increased risks have been reported for invasive breast cancer if smoking started before first childbirth , but we found the association was significant only if we did not adjust for age at first pregnancy. Researchers in a number of previous studies have adjusted for age at first pregnancy and still found significant associations with interval to first birth ; however, it is difficult to determine the adequacy of adjustment. For example, in a large pooled analysis of 14 cohort studies, there was a strong trend with smoking interval before first birth after adjustment for potential confounders that included age at first birth and number of live births , whereas after stratification by age at first birth, the trends in each stratum were weaker , which is suggestive of confounding.
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Smoking And Breast Cancer
Although smoking cigarettes has been linked to a variety of chronic health problems including heart disease, stroke and several types of cancer health experts have found no relationship between a woman’s status as a smoker and her breast cancer risk. Over the past 40 years, dozens of studies, large and small, have found no indication that smoking cigarettes either increases or decreases the likelihood of a woman developing breast cancer.
Why this is the case is not clear. When researchers look at the relationship between smoking and other cancers, the results are dramatic: Smoking has been highly correlated to lung cancer risk, for example. Cigarettes contain many known carcinogens, and the chemical byproducts of smoking have been found in breast tissue and breast milk. So why is there no apparent connection with breast cancer?
Researchers theorize that smoking might equally increase and decrease risk because smoking acts against the production of estrogen, a hormone that plays a leading role in breast cancer. Women who smoke also are less likely to have endometrial cancer, which is related to estrogen, and tend to start menopause earlier. In theory, the anti-estrogenic effects of smoking could counter the cancer-causing effects of some of the chemicals in cigarettes.
How Can I Get Help To Quit Smoking
In addition to increasing the risk of many types of cancer, smoking can also lead to conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and lung disease. Secondhand smoke can also have many harmful health effects.
If you do smoke, its important to quit. Quitting smoking is a powerful tool for improving your overall health and lowering your risk of cancer and other chronic health conditions.
However, quitting smoking can often be a difficult process. If youre trying to quit smoking, try using the resources below to help you on your journey.
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Does Smoking Cause 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.