Women Who Smoke Are More Liable To Develop Breast Cancer

Women Who Smoke Are More Liable To Develop  Breast Cancer - Sakshi Post

“Women who smoke are more liable to develop breast cancer, recurrence chances are more and more likely to die from breast cancer compared to non-smokers.”

Dr TPS Bhandari, Senior Consultant, Surgical Oncology & Breast Surgery, Apollo Cancer Centres, Hyderabad

Cigarette smoking is a known risk factor for the development of various cancers in the human body including those arising from the breast tissues. There are multiple mechanisms that play a part in the process of cancer generation, the chemicals inhaled through smoking bind to the DNA of the cells and produce damage in its structure which results in inappropriate functioning of the DNA. Smoking tends to damage the genes which regulate the inherent ability of the cells to repair the damaged DNA which results in building up damaged DNA over a prolonged period of time; this above mechanism explains the increased risk of developing cancer with increased duration of smoking.

Several statistical studies have demonstrated that there is >24% increased risk of developing breast cancer in women who have initiated smoking before the age of 17years with 15% increase in risk for those who initiate smoking between 17-19 years. The effect of duration of smoking has also been documented to be associated with increased risk of breast cancer with duration of more than 10years of smoking producing an increase of 21% risk in breast cancer development and 30 years of smoking causes a 22% increase in risk of breast cancer.

Smoking has been associated with significantly increased risk of breast cancer particularly among women who have started smoking in their teens apart from this risk being substantially higher for women with a documented family history of breast cancer.There is documented evidence regarding the association of very heavy second hand exposure of nicotine and breast cancer risk in post-menopausal women.

Breast cancer incidence was associated with a higher quantity of current and past smoking, younger age at smoking initiation,longer duration of smoking, and more pack-years of smoking. Premenopausal smoking was associated with a slightly higher incidence of breast cancer especially smoking before first birth.

A statistical meta-analysis of several studies have established that mortality among current smokers is 2 to 3 times as high as that among persons that have never smoked; 28% increase in breast cancer-associated mortality in those who were current smokers compared to never smokers. The mortality rate in former smokers was equal to those found in never smokers clearlyindicating that breast cancer patients ceasing to smoke can lower their risk of dying from their breast cancer disease dramatically.

Smoking has been shown to have an impact on the chances of disease recurrence. Former smokers with 20 to 35 pack-years of exposure had a 22% increased risk of breast cancer recurrence and a 26% increased risk of all-cause mortality compared to non-smokers. Those with 35 pack-years of exposure or more had a 37% increased risk of breast cancer recurrence, a 54% increased risk of breast cancer mortality, and a 68% increased risk of all-cause mortality.

Current smokers (with a mean 39 pack-years of exposure) had a 41% higher probability of breast cancer recurrence, a 60% higher probability of breast cancer mortality, and double the risk of all-cause mortality compared to non-smokers.

Former smokers with less than 20 pack-years of exposure had no increased risk of any outcome.


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