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Home »  Cancer »  World Cancer Day 2021: Chewing And Smoking Tobacco- A Risk Factor For Multiple Kinds Of Cancer

World Cancer Day 2021: Chewing And Smoking Tobacco- A Risk Factor For Multiple Kinds Of Cancer

World Cancer Day: Chewing tobacco contains a minimum of 28 cancer-causing chemicals, medically known as carcinogens. The primary cancer-causing agents in chewing tobacco are the tobacco-explicit nitrosamines (TSNAs).

World Cancer Day 2021: Chewing And Smoking Tobacco- A Risk Factor For Multiple Kinds Of Cancer

World Cancer Day: Roughly around 1 out of 5 deaths from heart disease is directly related to smoking

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. 25% of pancreatic cancer occurs because of chewing tobacco
  2. Chewing tobacco and smoking can increase risk of esophageal cancer
  3. Continuous consumption of tobacco can lead to stomach cancer too

World Cancer Day: Tobacco consumption occurs in two ways, either chewing tobacco as smokeless tobacco (container masala, gutka and khaini) or smoking (cigarettes and beedi). Tobacco consumption taking place in any form is extremely addictive because of nicotine and three hundred cancer-causing carcinogens. Chewing tobacco represents a major consumption of tobacco in India, making the head and neck cancer the most commonly reported forms.

World Cancer Day: Quit smoking and chewing tobacco to be cancer-free


Smokeless tobacco is usually a combination of aromatic betel leaves and nuts that the consumer keeps in the mouth and chews on it for quite a long time. When these leaves are chewed continuously for a longer period of time, nicotine is released continuously in the mouth and other flavours that make the mouth produce exorbitant salivation. Users generally end up spitting this out. While consumers are smoking tobacco, nicotine is released in the lungs and influences different organs, tobacco, when chewed, stays in the mouth. Development of tartar can prompt gum sickness and can negatively impact saliva flow in the mouth.

Also read: World Cancer Day 2021: Foods You Should Avoid To Reduce Cancer Risk

Chewing tobacco contains a minimum of 28 cancer-causing chemicals, medically known as carcinogens. The primary cancer-causing agents in chewing tobacco are the tobacco-explicit nitrosamines (TSNAs). Some of the other cancer-causing agents found in chewing tobacco are formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, arsenic, benzopyrene, nickel, and cadmium. Numerous people erroneously accept that snus is a safe form of chewing tobacco rather than fermented when produced in Norway or Sweden, causing fewer nitrosamines. Nonetheless, snus still contains several cancer-causing chemicals. Snus made in America is not necessarily processed in the same way as in Norway or Sweden.

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Quit smoking and chewing tobacco to reduce your risk of cancer
Photo Credit: iStock

Roughly around 1 out of 5 deaths from heart disease is directly related to smoking and chewing of tobacco. As per the Global Adult Tobacco Survey India in 2016- 2017 (GATS) about 163.7 million Indians use smokeless tobacco, whereas 68.9 million people are smokers. Also, 42.3 million are users of both smoking and smokeless tobacco. It means around 35% of adults (47.9% males and 20.3% females) in India use tobacco in some form or the other. Chewing and smoking tobacco result in an increased risk for certain types of cancer, most notably cancer of the oral cavity, including pancreatic cancer, esophageal cancer, and stomach cancer.

Also read: World Cancer Day: Understanding The Role Of Palliative Care During Cancer Treatment

About 25% of pancreatic cancer are believed to be brought about by chewing tobacco. The risk of getting pancreatic cancer is almost twice from smoking tobacco compared to those who have never smoked. Using any form of tobacco, like cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco, and snuff raises the risk of esophageal cancer, especially squamous cell carcinoma and moderately increases the risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma. This is prevalent mostly in men rather than in women. Continuous consumption of tobacco can lead to stomach cancer. This develops when cells in the lining of the stomach grow and divide in an abnormal way.

Researchers and doctors are continuously looking for the factors that cause this type of cancer, including ways to prevent it. Although there is no proven method to avoid cancer, it is very essential to reduce the risk. Several risk factors for oral and oropharyngeal disease can be evaded by making healthy lifestyle choices.

Also read: World Cancer Day 2021: Know All About The Different Types Of Blood Cancer From Expert

(Dr Praveen Garg, Senior Consultant, Surgical Oncology, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals)


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