The cancer resulting from smoking that most affected the capixabas this year was the throat (lip, oral cavity and pharynx). According to the State Department of Health (Sesa), there were 604 cases recorded until August 26.
Then appear cancers of the lung and bronchi (145), esophagus (74) and larynx (50). In 2021, the number of cases was 602, 297, 252 and 155, respectively.
All are considered the main types of cancer and appear in the list of the National Cancer Institute (Inca) along with the main types of cancers associated with smoking are trachea, bronchi and lung, bladder, pancreas, liver, cervix, esophagus, kidney and ureter, stomach, colon and rectum, in addition to acute myeloid leukemia.
Of those listed, lung cancer is the deadliest in the world. However, about 90% of cases could be avoided with the fight against smoking in Brazil, points out the National Cancer Institute (Inca).
According to oncologist Morgana Rossi, smoking is one of the main avoidable risk factors. “This addiction is responsible for deaths, diseases and high cost to the health system, in addition to the decrease in the quality of life of citizens and society”.
The expert points out that there is no exact amount of maximum or minimum safe for cigarette consumption. “There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. The only way to adequately protect smokers and non-smokers is to completely eliminate the use of smoked tobacco products indoors.”
The doctor’s warning goes to users of electronic cigarettes, which has become a fever among all ages. “E-cigarettes expose the body to a variety of chemical elements generated in different ways. One by the device itself (metal nanoparticles). The second is directly related to the heating or vaporization process, as some products contained in e-cigarette vapor include known carcinogens and cytotoxic substances, potentially causing lung and cardiovascular diseases.”
According to the pulmonologist, Marli Lopes, the high rate of mortality from lung cancer is directly linked to late diagnosis, since the main symptoms are manifested when the disease is already in an advanced stage, reducing the chances of patient survival.
“Only 16% of lung cancer cases are discovered at an early stage, which increases the chances of a cure. Most of the time, affected individuals are only diagnosed when the main symptoms begin to appear, such as persistent cough, bloody phlegm, chest pain, hoarseness, shortness of breath and weight loss, which only manifest in more advanced stages” , points out the expert.
The doctor also explains that the diagnosis is made through tomography and chest X-ray, followed by biopsy in cases of suspicious lesions. The earlier the diagnosis and treatment, the greater the chances of cure.
“Usually, lung cancer develops without showing signs. Therefore, it is extremely important that smokers, ex-smokers or people exposed to smoke passively regularly undergo professional follow-up, allowing a possible tumor to be detected at an early stage and for the patient to have a greater chance of cure”, he warns.
The doctor reinforces that fighting smoking, then, is a mission to ensure more health, well-being and life span for many people. “It is important to emphasize that it is always time to stop smoking and the SUS provides treatment for those who need it”.
Is the smoke bad?
One of the main myths created about tobacco consumption is that smoke is the main villain. The oncologist points out that the use of tobacco products that do not produce smoke also favors the development of cancer.
“Tobacco products that do not produce smoke are associated with or a risk factor for the development of cancer, for example, of the head and neck, esophagus and pancreas, and for many oral and dental pathologies”.
In addition, the expert points out that tobacco smoked in any form contributes significantly to strokes and deadly heart attacks.
“Smoking still contributes to the development of other diseases, including tuberculosis, respiratory infections, gastrointestinal ulcers, sexual impotence, infertility in women and men, osteoporosis, cataracts, among others.”
Since smoking is the main risk factor for lung cancer, experts point out that the fight against smoking is the main measure to prevent the pathology. However, according to Morgana, there are other external factors that promote the development of the disease, including exposure to environmental pollutants.
“A study published in the scientific journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention showed that long-term exposure to environmental pollutants was associated with an increased risk of mortality from different types of cancer in a Hong Kong population. Study co-author Thuan Quoc Thach, from the University of Hong Kong’s Faculty of Public Health, noted that prolonged exposure to particulate matter has been linked to lung cancer mortality, but new studies also show an association with mortality from other types of cancer”, points out Morgana.
For the authors, the association between cancer and exposure to particulate matter may include defects in DNA repair function, changes in the immune response or inflammatory processes that trigger angiogenesis.
In the case of digestive organs, exposure to pollutants derived from heavy metals can affect the intestinal microbiota and influence the development of cancer.
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