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Does smoking increase risk of breast cancer?

We still can argue whether smoking increase risk of breast cancer or not. Opinions differ. But it is better to take statistics into consideration.

breast cancer

For the past 3-4 decades, despite numerous attempts by scientists to classify smoking to the list of direct risk factors which increase breast cancer, most scientists do not connect smoking and cancer origin.

Of course, there are serious researchers in this area which firmly believe that smoking is a direct risk factor for breast cancer. For example, it was found out that high concentrations of the most dangerous tobacco smoke substances cause breast cancer.

Resulted while experiments over rats. However, the opinion about the connection between smoking and breast cancer nowadays is controversial. This is despite the fact that smoking is a recognized risk factor for cancer. The fact that the toxic products of tobacco smoke are carried by the blood throughout the body and the fact that the breast milk of smoking mothers contains all the same components is proven long ago.

breast cancer

READ ALSO: Does breast cancer hurt?

Does smoking increase the risk of breast cancer?

Also, it should be noted, scientists have proved that smoking reduces the level of estrogen in the blood and estrogens are the leading factor in breast cancer. But estrogens are female sex hormones (present in the male body) that perform many great functions. And if estrogen (due to any pathology in the woman's body is produced excessively or experience any hormonal imbalance it may occur a risk factor for breast cancer. So, smoking in any way may not be the treatment for hormone level lowering.

Breast cancer symptoms can be not visible. And the idea that smoking reduces the estrogen level, and therefore reduces the risk factor of breast cancer is a sad excuse for smoking women, who did not dare to quit this bad habit. It is even worse than when women justify their smoking by saying that it helps them to gain weight.

breast cancer

Smoking and breast cancer

Smoking is a potent cancer risk factor for all malignancies, including breast cancer and if not directly (as in the case of a formation with cancer by direct contact with the tissues of the body with tobacco smoke are lung cancer, larynx, lip, tongue,etc.) indirect, for sure. Women diagnosed with breast cancer who smoke regularly or even quitting smoking, significantly increase the chances of disease progression and death compared to non-smoking patients – as evidenced by the results of a study of physicians at the University of California in San Francisco. They undertook a major study involving patients from several different ethnic groups.

It is stated that that female smokers or quitters, 39% more likely to die from breast cancer, even after it was taken into account a wide range of known prognostic factors including clinical, socioeconomic and behavioral.

The link between smoking and cancer progression, including lung cancer, have already been installed, but I wasn't confident that this influence might extend to breast cancer.

breast cancer

Breast cancer statistics

The study involved surveying more than 2,000 women from different ethnic groups, which had been diagnosed with breast cancer. The research lasted for about nine years. The researchers were eager to understand the influence of smoking on the increased risk of death from the breast cancer.

During the nine years of experiment  164 women died of breast cancer, while 120 died from other causes, the researchers reported.

breast cancer

Women who regularly smoked or had previously been regular smokers had twice the risk of death from other causes (not breast cancer) compared to non-smokers.

This study is important for doctors as they can reasonably help patients to overcome this addiction, particularly among women first diagnosed with breast cancer, to improve survival and their overall health.

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