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16 Cancers Which Can Be Caused by Smoking

John M Aug 19, 2019
Lung cancer may be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of the dangers of smoking but actually there are 16 different types of cancer (and many other diseases) which can be caused by this unhealthy habit.
It's a well known fact that smoking is a very unhealthy habit. But the extent to which harm can be caused to different parts of the body, may come as a surprise to some people.

Affecting Much More Than Just The Lungs

Lungs are probably the first thing that come to mind when considering how smoking can be harmful to health. Risk of lung cancer is certainly higher in those who smoke, but there are numerous other cancers caused from this habit.

Not Only Cancer

Cancer is not the only thing to be concerned about; there are other diseases caused by smoking. The risk of stroke and coronary heart disease are just two examples.

Recent research also suggests that risk of ALS may be increased in individuals who smoke compared to non-smokers.

16 Different Cancers

Regarding cancer, it's known that there are at least 16 different types of cancer can be caused from smoking. Here we take a look at each of them.

Lung Cancer

The first type of cancer that comes to mind when thinking of the dangers of smoking is - lung cancer. In the USA alone, around 80% to 90% of lung cancer deaths are attributed to smoking.

Mouth Cancer

Smoking exposes the mouth to carcinogenic chemicals and as a result, increases the risk of mouth cancer. Incidentally, chewing tobacco can also increase risk of mouth cancer.

Throat Cancer

Use of tobacco increases the risk of an individual from getting throat cancer. Once again, the risk is there for those who chew tobacco as well as people who smoke it.

Cancer of the Paranasal Sinuses and Nasal Cavity

Sinus cancer and cancer of the nasal cavity, can both arise from smoking despite being relatively rare forms of cancer. In the UK, around 400 people are diagnosed with cancer of the sinuses or nasal cavity each year.

Laryngeal Cancer

Cancer of the larynx is another comparatively rare cancer but one in which smokers are more at risk of than non-smokers. Early symptoms include difficulty in swallowing, changes in the individual's voice and swollen lymph nodes.

Oesophageal Cancer

Smoking is estimated to cause over one third of all cases of oesophageal cancer. Chemicals in tobacco irritate the lining of the oesophagus and can cause cancerous cells within the organ to develop.

Liver Cancer

It's well known that excessive alcohol consumption over time can increase the risk of liver cancer, but smoking also has a harmful effect on this crucially important organ. It goes without saying that those who drink a lot and also smoke will be at even greater risk of liver cancer.

Stomach Cancer

When smokers inhale, inevitably some of the smoke gets swallowed and reaches the stomach. According to Cancer Research UK, around 20% of stomach cancer cases in the United Kingdom can be attributed to smoking.

Pancreatic Cancer

It's estimated that risk of pancreatic cancer is twice as high in smokers compared to individuals who have resisted smoking all their lives. Around 95% people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer will die as a result of it.

During early stages, when it's most treatable, there are often no symptoms, so it goes unnoticed.

Kidney Cancer

Another cancer for which the risk doubles in smokers compared to non-smokers is kidney cancer. As with most of the cancers associated with smoking, the longer and more frequently the individual smokes, the higher risk of developing cancer of the kidneys.

Colorectal Cancer

Not only does smoking increase the risk of colorectal cancer (bowel) cancer, but an individual diagnosed with this form of cancer is more likely to die from it if they smoke, compared to non-smokers and even people who gave up smoking.

Bladder Cancer

Cancer of the bladder is more than three times likely to occur in smokers compared to non-smokers, according to the American Cancer Society - which is a pretty stark statistic.

Ovarian Cancer

Research suggests that smoking increases the likelihood of the mucinous type of ovarian cancer, rather than the nonmucinous type. 

Cervical Cancer

It's estimated that the chance of developing cervical cancer is twice as high in female smokers compared to non-smokers. Early symptoms include vaginal bleeding or discharge as well as lower back pain.

Ureteral Cancer

Ureteral cancer can affect both men and women and is a comparatively rare cancer. It can, however, be caused by smoking. Once again, the risk increases the longer the individual continues to smoke.

Acute Myeloid Leukaemia

It's thought that the benzine present in cigarette smoke is the most significant reason why acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is more likely to develop in smokers compared to non-smokers. Early symptoms of AML include pale skin, joint pain and swollen glands.

Harmful To The Whole Body

As you can see from the 16 aforementioned types of cancer, smoking is harmful to pretty much every part of the human body. The risk for most of the conditions associated with smoking (cancers and otherwise) increases the longer the individual smokes.
So it's not too late to stop today if you yourself are a smoker!