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Tobacco smoke changes the cells - just to the worse

The inscriptions on cigarette packs constantly alert us to the harmfulness of smoking and its health consequences. Among other things, tobacco consumption is also associated with an increased incidence of cancer. How big is this risk and is it about you?

Blinded immunity

Approximately 7000 chemicals contained in cigarette smoke are more than 250 harmful. At least 69 of them also have the potential to induce tumor cell proliferation (they have a so-called carcinogenic effect). These substances often damage the genetic information of the cells. The affected cells can then lose the ability to regulate their proliferation. They can also forget what to do during their lives. This is one of the mechanisms contributing to cancer. Cigarette smoke also reduces the "alertness" of cells that perform the function of so-called immune surveillance. They are responsible for destroying cells that get out of control. The inadequate function of these "guards" allows damaged cells to divide and develop into cancer.

The danger is great

Smokers generally have an increased risk of oncological illness. Certain types of cancer, however, are typical for them. These include lung, esophagus, larynx, oral and bladder cancer. Tobacco consumption further increases the risk of malignant growth of the cervix, colon and certain forms of leukemia. Compared to non-smokers, smokers have a 53% higher incidence of oncological disease. For men, up to 90% of lung tumors are caused by smoking, in women this figure is between 75 and 80%.

Stop paying

When a person stops smoking, he reduces the risk of many diseases related to this addiction. The same applies to the risk of oncological illness. The sooner the person stops smoking, the less risk remains. Smokers who put down cigarettes before the age of 40 may reduce the risk of some forms of cancer by up to 90% (if they are between 45 and 54 years, then two-thirds).

And when you were diagnosed with cancer? And then it certainly makes sense to quit smoking. For some types of cancer, if the patient stops smoking at the time of diagnosis, the risk of death is reduced by up to 40%. At the same time, in the case of successful treatment, cocaine deferral reduces the chance of returning the disease. There is also a risk of a second oncological problem.

Author: Matej Pribiš
Source: U lékař

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