How Smoking Causes Cancer?

Smoking is a well-established and significant risk factor for various types of cancer. It is estimated that smoking is responsible for around 80% of all lung cancer cases. Additionally, smoking is linked to an increased risk of developing several other types of cancer, including mouth, throat, esophagus, larynx, pancreas, bladder, kidney, and cervix cancer, among others. Here’s how smoking causes cancer:

  • Carcinogens in Tobacco Smoke: Tobacco smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals, many of which are known carcinogens (cancer-causing substances). Some of the most harmful carcinogens in tobacco smoke include benzene, formaldehyde, arsenic, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and nitrosamines.
  • DNA Damage: When a person inhales tobacco smoke, these carcinogens can enter the body and cause damage to the DNA within cells. DNA damage can disrupt normal cellular functions and lead to uncontrolled cell growth and division, which is a hallmark of cancer.
  • Mutations and Tumor Formation: Over time, the accumulated DNA damage can lead to mutations in certain genes that control cell growth. These mutations can cause cells to grow and divide uncontrollably, leading to the formation of tumors.
  • Inflammation and Immune Suppression: Smoking also triggers chronic inflammation in the body and weakens the immune system’s ability to identify and destroy cancer cells, allowing them to grow and spread more easily.
  • Secondhand Smoke: Not only does smoking increase the risk of cancer in smokers, but exposure to secondhand smoke (involuntary inhalation of smoke from others’ cigarettes) is also linked to an increased risk of cancer in non-smokers.

It’s important to note that the risk of cancer from smoking is cumulative, meaning the longer a person smokes and the more cigarettes they consume, the higher their risk of developing cancer becomes. Quitting smoking significantly reduces the risk of cancer and other smoking-related diseases. The body has an incredible ability to heal, and many health benefits can be observed shortly after quitting smoking. If you smoke, quitting is one of the best things you can do for your health and well-being.