Smoking has long been linked to lung cancer, and most Americans have heeded the warnings that smoking causes lung cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, smoking is a direct cause of 80% of lung cancer deaths in women and 90% of lung cancer deaths in men.
But a fact that many don’t know is that cigarette smoke is also a contributor to 30% of all cancers. How could it be that cigarette smoke gets into organs other than the lungs? As it turns out, the actual smoke does not, but the carcinogens in tobacco smoke do get into your blood stream and thus into other parts of your body.
Some of the cancers linked to smoking are:
- Lung Cancer
- Head and Neck Cancers
- Pancreatic Cancer
- Stomach Cancer
- Bladder Cancer
- Kidney Cancer
- Esophageal Cancer
- Liver Cancer
- Prostate Cancer
- Breast Cancer
- Skin Cancer
- Cervical Cancer
- Ovarian Cancer
- Acute myeloid leukemia
Cigarette smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, and 69 of these are known to be causes of cancer. (carcinogenic). These carcinogens damage genes that allow cell growth. When damaged, these cells grow abnormally or reproduce more rapidly than do normal cells.
Secondhand smoke is also bad, causing 49,000 deaths each year. Secondhand-smoke exposure also has been found to be detrimental to cardiovascular health, particularly in children.
While smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, there is hope for smokers. Much of the damage to your body caused by smoking can be undone over time. Also, there are many successful programs to help you quit.
The best way to prevent smoking-related cancers is to never smoke, but by quitting at any time, you lower your risks of developing a smoking -related cancer.
Smoking Cessation Resources:
For information on smoking cessation, visit:
The Georgia Quit Line provides free counseling, a resource library, support and referral services for tobacco users ages 13 and older. Callers have the opportunity to speak with health care professionals who develop a unique plan for each individual.
About Joan Giblin, NP
Joan Giblin, NP has a total of 43 years of nursing experience, 25 as a family nurse practitioner and 16 as an oncology nurse practitioner, where she is actively involved in patient care and clinical trials.
In 2011, Ms. Giblin assumed a new role as the director of the Winship Survivorship Program with primary responsibilities for developing the program as a resource for patients and a means to facilitate continued good health and quality of life for cancer survivors. Prior to this, she was the director of the Winship Call Center, the first point of contact for new cancer patients, and was instrumental in establishing protocols and procedures to streamline access to care at Winship.
Giblin’s experience as an oncology nurse practitioner gives her insightful perspective on the needs of cancer patients and cancer survivors. As a clinical nurse practitioner, she was part of the aerodigestive team, specializing in the care of patients with head and neck, lung and throat cancers.
Giblin’s current research is in the area of survivorship related to long-term and late effects of cancer treatment and adherence to follow-up care.