The link between smoking and lung cancer is well established and supported by extensive scientific research. Smoking is the most significant risk factor for developing lung cancer. According to Dr Palla Raghudeep, MD, IDCCM, Consultant Pulmonologist and Critical Care at Omni Hospitals, “In 2022, a grim reality emerges in India when the number of newly reported cancer cases will exceed 1.4 million This is serving as a poignant reminder of the seriousness of the situation. This data underlines the undeniable fact that approximately one in nine people in India is at risk of cancer during their lifetime. “These shocking figures underline the urgent need for our collective vigilance.”
“This deadly association often manifests with vague symptoms, which can be masked by respiratory problems, with warning signs such as persistent chest discomfort, cough, shortness of breath, unexplained weight loss, and frequent infections. “Although these symptoms can be distressing, it is important to prioritize prevention of this terrible disease,” he said.
How does smoking cause lung cancer:
Dr Nikhil Modi, who is a senior consultant in respiratory and critical care medicine at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, said, “Tobacco smoke causes lung cancer due to the presence of various carcinogens and harmful chemicals found in tobacco smoke. These carcinogenic components, once inhaled, cause cellular damage and genetic abnormalities in the lung tissue, resulting in uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells. The cumulative effect of these harmful processes leads to the development of lung cancer, a potentially fatal disease with significant morbidity and mortality. The complex interplay between the harmful elements of cigarette smoke and the sensitivity of lung tissue highlights the critical need for comprehensive smoking cessation programs and strong tobacco control measures to reduce the devastating impact of this preventable disease.”
Relationship between smoking and lung cancer:
Dr Narendra Aggarwal, who is Associate Director of Thoracic Surgery at Max Super Specialty Hospital, Patparganj, listed Key points that explain this relationship:
- Carcinogenic substances: Cigarette smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, many of which are known carcinogens. When these chemicals enter the lungs, they can damage the DNA in the lung cells, causing mutations that can eventually result in uncontrolled growth of cancer cells.
- Tar and Nicotine: Tar, a sticky substance in tobacco smoke, accumulates in the lungs and can cause cellular changes that lead to cancer. Nicotine, although not a carcinogen itself, is highly addictive, making it difficult for people to quit smoking.
- increased risk: Studies have shown that people who smoke have a significantly higher risk of developing lung cancer than non-smokers. The more a person smokes and the longer they smoke, the greater their risk.
- second hand smoke: Exposure to second-hand smoke or passive smoking also increases the risk of lung cancer in non-smokers. When non-smokers are exposed to the smoke of others, they inhale the same harmful substances that can cause lung cancer.
- Smoking Pattern: The risk of lung cancer is closely related to the number of cigarettes smoked per day and the duration of smoking. Both active and former smokers can develop lung cancer, but quitting smoking can reduce the risk over time.
- Types of lung cancer: Smoking is primarily associated with non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer, which are the two most common types of lung cancer. These cancers are directly related to tobacco use.
- Quit smoking: The good news is that quitting smoking at any level can significantly reduce your risk of developing lung cancer. Over time, damaged lung tissue may begin to heal and the risk decreases.
The most important of the preventive measures is quitting smoking, which can be facilitated through strategies such as using nicotine patches, choosing sugar-free gum, and exploring different solutions. As we raise awareness about lung cancer this month, it is essential to raise awareness, urge each other to get regular checkups, make healthy choices and adopt a lifestyle that promotes overall well-being.
(Disclaimer: The information provided in the article, including treatment suggestions shared by doctors, is for general informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified person regarding any medical condition. healthcare provider for any questions you may have regarding.)
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