Smoking is a leading cause of cancer and death from cancer. However, it is the biggest preventable cause of cancer in the world. Smoking accounts for more than 1 in 4 UK cancer deaths, and nearly a fifth of all cancer cases.
Fortunately, many of these deaths can be preventable, by quitting smoking. Smoking cause at least 14 types of cancer that include cancers of lung, mouth, nose and sinuses, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, liver, pancreas, stomach, kidney, bowel, ovary, bladder, cervix, and acute myeloid leukemia. Smoking causes more than 4 in 5 cases of lung cancer. Lung cancer has one of the lowest survival rates of all cancers.
Smokers are more likely to develop lung cancer than non-smokers, whatever the type of cigarette they smoke. According to scientists’ researches, the number of years you spend smoking affects your risk of developing cancer more greatly than the number of cigarettes you smoke a day. So, to reduce your risk of developing cancer you should entirely quit smoking.
Many people are asking how smoking causes cancer. The answer is that chemicals in tobacco smoke can damage our DNA, which is the cell’s “instruction manual” that controls a cell’s normal growth and function. When DNA is damaged, a cell can begin growing out of control and create a cancer tumor. Also, toxic chemicals in cigarette smoke can weaken the body’s immune system, making it harder to kill cancer cells. And as a result of this, the weak immune system, will not be able to kill cancer cells so they will keep growing without being stopped.
Smoking takes many years, or decades, to damage DNA. Our bodies are designed to deal with a bit of damage but the body finds it difficult to cope with the number of toxic chemicals in tobacco smoke. Each cigarette can damage DNA in many lung cells, but that is not the main danger, the buildup of damage in the same cell is the real danger as it can lead to cancer. Research has shown that, for every 15 cigarettes smoked there is a DNA change which could cause a cell to become cancerous.
As we see in this article, smoking can greatly increase your chances of developing cancer so the only choice you should make to prevent this is to quit smoking as soon as possible. Within 5 years of quitting, your chance of getting cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder is cut in half. And ten years after you quit smoking, can decrease your risk of dying from lung cancer by half.