Cancer--Your Wake-Up Call To Quit Smoking

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Most people know that cancer is associated with smoking. Unfortunately, many don?t truly realize the increased risks and seriousness of this disease, let alone its prevent ability. Smoking is a toxin and, as such, it causes damage to every organ in the human body. Therefore, it has been connected to at least 10 different types of cancers, including pancreas, bladder, kidney, cervix, esophagus, larynx, lung, and stomach, and is responsible for approximately 30% of cancer deaths.

a) Lung cancer-
Sadly, more than 154,000 Americans died in 2002 from lung cancer, making it the number one cause of cancer deaths for both men and women. Frighteningly, only 12-15% of patients who acquire lung cancer are currently being cured by cancer treatments, yet more than 90% of all cases of lung cancer are preventable because they are caused by smoking.

Symptoms of lung cancer include repeated attacks of bronchitis or pneumonia, coughing up blood, a nagging cough, loss or appetite, pain in the arm and chest, unexplained weight loss, wheezing, hoarseness, shortness of breath, and swelling of the face and arms.

b) Cancer of the esophagus (Esophageal Cancer)-
The esophagus is a muscular tube that is responsible for transporting food from the mouth to the stomach. It occurs most often in men over 50 years old. There are two forms of cancer of the esophagus. One type, squamous cell cancer, is closely linked to smoking, as well as alcohol consumption.

Symptoms of squamous cancer of the esophagus include pain or difficulty when swallowing, pain behind the breastbone, weight loss, indigestion, heartburn, cough, and hoarseness.

c) Throat cancer-
Throat cancer, also known as laryngeal cancer, vocal cord cancer, or cancer of the glottis, occurs when tumors form on the voice box, vocal chords, or other areas of the throat. Smokers are at a greater risk of developing throat cancer, and those who smoke and drink alcohol are at an even greater risk. Throat cancer occurs most often in adults over the age of 50. In addition, men are 10 times more likely to develop throat cancer than women.

Symptoms of throat cancer include a sore throat that does not go away after one to two weeks, even after the use of antibiotics. Hoarseness that persists for one to two weeks is another symptom. General difficulty swallowing, neck pain, unintentional weight loss, swelling in the neck, coughing up blood, and high pitched breathing sounds are other symptoms.

d) Bladder cancer-
Bladder cancer generally occurs in the transitional cells of the bladder, which are the cells that line the bladder. Smoking cigarettes makes a person five times more likely to develop bladder cancer. In fact, up to 30% of women with bladder cancer and 50% of men are caused by smoking. By the nature of the cancer, bladder cancer spreads to nearby organs, including the vagina, uterus, ureters, prostate, and rectum. It is also capable of spreading to the pelvic lymph nodes, the bones, the lungs, and the liver.

Symptoms of bladder cancer include frequent urination, blood in the urine, painful urination, and urinary urgency. Those with bladder cancer may also experience bone pain or tenderness, urinary incontinence, anemia, abdominal pain, weight loss, and lethargy.

e) Stomach cancer-
Stomach cancer, also known as gastric carcinoma, comes in a variety of forms. The most common form Adenocarcinoma is the most common type of cancer affecting the digestive tract in the world. It occurs most often in men over 40. Diagnosis of stomach cancer is often delayed because there are not early symptoms or because sufferers mistake it for other less serious disorders, such as a sense of fullness, bloating, or gas.
Symptoms of stomach cancer include difficulty swallowing, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and feeling of fullness, abdominal pain, breath odor, excessive belching, excessive gas, weight loss, and a general decline in health.

f) Kidney cancer-
Kidney cancer is also known as renal cancer, adenocarcinoma or renal cells, and hypernephroma. It affects approximately 3 in 10,000 people and 12,000 people die every year from the cancer. It is more common in men than and women, particularly affecting men over 55. A history of smoking dramatically increases the likelihood of developing kidney cancer. This cancer metastasizes, or spreads, very easily. It most often spreads to the lungs or to other organs. Sadly, nearly 1/3 of patients with kidney cancer have metastasized by the time it is diagnosed.

Symptoms of kidney cancer include abnormal urine color (such as rusty, dark, or brown), blood in the urine, back pain, weight loss, malnourished appearance, abdominal pain, enlargement of one testicle, and swelling of the abdomen.