Cigarettes are perhaps the hardest drug to quit and users have a high potential for relapse. While tobacco may not be the worst drug one could consume it still happens to be extremely harmful to one’s health and very addictive. Every year, thousands of people lose their life to health conditions that are a result of prolonged tobacco usage. Every case is different, but in most cases cancer is the cause of death, typically lung cancer or mouth and throat cancer.
A new study was conducted and the results may tie smoking with a particular type of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma in women. Women with squamous cell carcinoma were almost four times more likely than women without the cancer to have smoked for 20 or more years, according to a news release from Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, where the study was conducted.
The study included 383 patients with skin cancer and 315 people without the disease. They were asked:
- How much they smoked
- When they started
- How many years in total they smoked
Smoking did not appear to significantly increase men’s risk of skin cancer. Lead author Dana Rollison said she did not know why they found a gender difference in smoking risk. The female hormone estrogen may affect the breakdown of nicotine in the body, and the body’s ability to repair damage to lung DNA that is caused by smoking.
The authors pointed out that while the study found a link between smoking and skin cancer risk, it did not prove smoking causes skin cancer.
The study appears in the journal Cancer Causes & Control.