The title of this article itself reveals why cigarettes are also called cancer sticks. It is a well established fact that smoking triggers malignancy in healthy cells. The habit of smoking is easy to start but extremely difficult to stop. No wonder, people continue to puff smoke for years which only increases their chances of falling prey to various types of cancer. Surprisingly, number of people joining the brigade of smokers is increasing. The increase in number of smokers in various countries is a cause of concern, especially when the 'C for Cancer' has been associated with it. So, it's time that smokers know about various smoking related illnesses. Following article gives a low down on cancers caused by smoking.

Ill-Effects of Smoking

The inhaled smoke of a tobacco cigarette directly exposes our body to various carcinogens (cancer causing agents). Tobacco is a carcinogen and so taking it in any form predisposes a person to its cancerous effects. It is discussed below:

Lung Cancer
Talking about smoking and ignoring lung cancer is like giving a lecture on the solar system without mentioning the sun. This is because, lung cancer is considered to be the most likely outcome of prolonged smoking. Smoking regularly gradually deteriorates lung health. The capacity of the lungs to support normal breathing starts declining due to exposure to tobacco smoke on a daily basis. No wonder, lung infections that are characterized by difficulty breathing are frequently occurring among smokers. Also, numerous studies indicate that smokers are twice likely to develop lung cancer than their counterparts (non smokers) . Although there are various causes that can trigger lung cancer, smoking is a primary contributory factor.

Colon Cancer
Colon (larger intestine) cancer also comes in the list of smoking related cancer. Research has proved that prolonged smoking also predispose a person to colon cancer risks. Higher the number of cigarettes smoked per day, higher will be the chances of contracting colon cancer. Cigarette smoking introduces smoke, which contains cancer causing substances, into various parts of the body and the colon is no exception. Thus, colon coming in contact with carcinogens on a daily basis may develop cancerous tumors. Exposure to tobacco may also lead to enlargement of polyps. Colon polyps are a lump of mass that bulges out from the inner walls of the large intestine. These harmless fleshy growth are commonly diagnosed in people who have crossed 60 years of age. Studies show that with increase in polyp size, their probability of becoming malignant also increases.

Pancreatic Cancer
The occurrence of pancreatic cancer has also been attributed to smoking. The reason behind linking pancreatic cancer to cigarette smoke is the data collected from various reliable sources that shows that quite a few patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer were smokers. Considering this fact, smoking cigarette would certainly not be considered as a wise thing to follow.

Oral Cavity Cancer
With regular smoking, oral health also takes a beating. The cancer can also strike at the oral cavity if the person does not quit smoking. Recent data suggest that approximately 2,000 individuals in New York State develop oral cancer yearly, thanks to their habit of puffing cigarettes and chewing tobacco. Smoking and alcohol consumption is accountable for three-fourth cases of oral cancer. Smoking may cause cancerous lesions to develop somewhere in the oral activity.

Kidney Cancer
Kidney cancer is also one of the diseases caused by smoking. The kidneys might get exposed to carcinogenic agents found in the smoke. This can make the kidneys susceptible to cancer risks. Hence smokers tend to carry higher risk of contracting kidney cancer than those who avoid smoking.

Urinary Bladder Cancer
The urinary system can also suffer from carcinogenic effects of smoking. Smoking also increases a person's risk to urinary bladder cancer. This may happen when the carcinogenic substances in the smoke combines with the urine. As the bladder stores the urine, before it is finally disposed off, there is a possibility of cancerous formation in the bladder. About 50% bladder cancer patients diagnosed every year are because of tobacco smoking. This condition is typically marked by frequent and painful urination and blood in the urine.

Cervical cancer
Studies also suggest a link between cervical cancer development and smoking. Doctors also believe that females by smoking raise their chances of getting contracting cervical cancer. Infection of HPV (Human Papillomavirus) virus, which is a sexually transmitted disease, is commonly found in the sexually active women. In the cervix, the body fights off diseases with the help of Langerhans cells. In case of female smokers, a chemical benzyrene in the tobacco smoke causes damage to these cells and the immunity is compromised. In such females, if the infection is due to the HPV strains of type 16, 17 or 31 the chances of getting cervix cancer are significantly higher than those who do not smoke. It is reported these strains are the major causes of the cervical cancer, 70% of these incidences are caused by Type 16 and 18.

Cancer of the Food Pipe
The food pipe, also referred as esophagus, connects the throat with the stomach. Studies suggest a strong relationship between frequent smoking and esophageal cancer. The cancer that strikes the food pipe due to smoking and alcohol consumption is classified as squamous cell carcinoma. Trouble in swallowing food, heart burn and blood in vomit are some of the symptoms of this type of cancer.

Breast Cancer
New studies clearly point out that breast cancer is strongly connected to breast cancer. It is the most widely occurring type of cancer in women. Women who started smoking in the early stages of life may have higher chances of showing cancerous growth in breasts. In yet another research it was observed that the habit of smoking among non obese females put them at greater risks of breast cancer in comparison to obese females smoker. This study revealed that the weight factor also influences the risk of breast cancer. The fact that post menopausal women smokers are also predisposed to breast cancer risks was also found out in the studies.

Recent studies show that inhaling cigarette smoke just once can have a negative impact on genes and trigger undesired gene mutations. On the whole, these were some of the health problems caused by smoking. With so many organs predisposed to formation of cancerous tumors due to smoking, it is absolutely insensible to start this unhealthy habit. It is clear that, to get the momentary pleasure at the cost of overlooking adverse health consequences of smoking is not a fair deal. So, stop smoking now!