Does Smoking Cause Lung Cancer?

Lung Cancer
Does Smoking Cause Lung Cancer? : Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer, with more than 90 percent of lung cancers thought to be a result of smoking.

Facts about smoking and respiratory diseases

Diseases caused by smoking kill more than 430,000 people in the United States each year. In fact, smoking is directly responsible for the majority of lung cancer cases (87 percent), emphysema cases and chronic bronchitis cases. According to the American Cancer Society, 90 percent of new smokers are children and teenagers, in many cases, replacing the smokers who quit or died prematurely from a smoking-related disease.

Risks associated with smoking

  • Smokers not only increase their risk of lung disease, including lung cancer, but they also increase their risk of other illnesses, including heart disease, emphysema, stroke and oral cancer.
  • The symptoms of smoking-related lung diseases may resemble other lung conditions or medical problems. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.

Genetics – Cause of lung cancer

The majority of lung cancers (90 percent) are due to cigarette smoking. A number of diverse genetic abnormalities have been identified in lung cancer cells. Some of these genetic abnormalities may be causal (i.e., responsible for initiating the development of cancer), while others may instead indicate the progression of the cancer.

Notes on Lung cancer

  • Lung cancer may spread to the lymph nodes or other tissues in the chest (including the other lung). In many cases, lung cancer may also spread to other organs of the body, such as the bones, brain, or liver.
  • Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in U.S. men and women.
  • Studies show that smoking tobacco products in any form is the major cause of lung cancer.
  • Environmental, or second-hand, tobacco smoke is also implicated in causing lung cancer.

Predictions by American Cancer Society

  • Overall, 171,600 new cases of lung cancer and 158,900 deaths from the disease are expected in 1999 in the U.S., according to the American Cancer Society (ACS).
  • Smokers are about 10 times more likely to develop lung cancer than non-smokers. Using tobacco increases the risk of developing other cancers and diseases as well.
  • According to the ACS, which sponsors the Great American Smokeout, an estimated 173,000 cancer deaths in this country alone will be caused by tobacco use this year.

Women and Lung Cancer

  • In 1987, deaths from lung cancer surpassed those from breast cancer, and the gap has been steadily widening.
  • While men’s death rate has been falling in recent years, thanks in large part to the public education campaign against smoking, women’s death rate from lung cancer is still increasing. As a result, medical oncologist Dr. Jennifer Garst considers lung cancer to be a women’s health issue.
  • Not only are more young women taking up smoking and doing so at younger ages, there’s also growing evidence that women are more susceptible to developing lung cancer.
  • It appears that women smokers have a higher risk of developing lung cancer than men. In general the health consequences of smoking are devastating.
  • Smoking also damages skin and discolors teeth.

Sources: Duke University, Arizona Cancer Center, VCUMCC