It is understood worldwide that tobacco kills millions of people per year. However, despite this awareness and knowledge, the World Health Organization predicts that the death toll caused by tobacco usage will increase by 2030. Currently tobacco use kills an average of five million people per year globally.
Reasoning for the Research
While the cure for cancer is still an ongoing battle with researchers, studies have shown that cancer is not one, single disease. In fact, cancer is a combination of over 200 various diseases. This makes the search for a cure even more challenging, because it is nearly impossible to identify epigenetic and genetic alterations within a tumor. Tumors that are the result of tobacco carcinogens make things even more difficult to identify the biological mechanisms of the tumor. This results in the fact that tobacco carcinogens are activated metabolically in genes that bind to DNA. This then mutates in important gene growth, resulting in aggressive tumors.
The American Association for Cancer Research and numerous oncology departments are providing tobacco cessation treatment for patients suffering from cancer or those being screened for it. Cessation treatment options are not commonly found presently in oncology centers, and the AACR is fighting for that to change.
The research will provide key, cement correlation that links tobacco use with the form of cancer being treated or possibly diagnosed. Current research shows that patients that continue tobacco use during and after treatment can lead to worsened health effects such as renewed tumor growth or mortality. The AACR is adamantly stating that without an increase in cessation programs, patients will be likely to return to their habit and form new malignancies or even suffer from premature death.
While research has shown that 90 percent of oncologists believe tobacco is a carcinogen, only 40 percent regularly provide their patients with cessation programs. The AACR is trying to combat that by promoting oncology centers to seriously take part in their patient’s overall treatment and health.
Tobacco as a Carcinogen
Tobacco, consumed in any form, has carcinogenic factors. In 1964, the United States Surgeon General reported on smoking and health. There was a determined relationship between lung cancer and smoking. The link comes from the over 5,000 chemical toxins found in tobacco cigarettes, 60 of which have been identified as carcinogenic. Tobacco usage is linked to causing cancer in at least 18 different organs in the human body. In the United States alone, tobacco causes 30 percent of all cancer deaths and 87 percent of all lung cancer deaths. That’s close to 20,000 lives lost due to cancer caused by tobacco.
Smoking is an unbelievably challenging habit to kick. Even those diagnosed with cancer and treat the illness go back to the habit at rates of 40 to 60 percent of patients. Determining a method on how to quit and having a support system is the most important thing a smoker can do. Utilizing such nicotine products as electronic cigarettes or nicotine patches can assist a smoker in successfully quitting the habit. Eradicating the harmful toxins and carcinogenic factors of cigarettes through nicotine substitutes will save the lives of millions of smokers in the next decade.