Smoking causes more cancers than once thought

Posted: 09/10/2008 09:50 AM EDT

Posted Sept. 10, 2008 – You known that tobacco-smoking leads to serious health complications. But you might be surprised to learn just how many illnesses, particularly cancers, smoking causes.

a new report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) links smoking to more cancers than most people realize.

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CDC researchers looked at the numbers behind a large cancer survey, which involved 92 percent of the entire U.S. population, and found that during the period between 1999 and 2004 tobacco-smoking caused 2.4 million cancer cases, which accounts for a third of all cancer cases in the United States. 

The report estimated that tobacco-smoking killed an average of 438,000 people each year, and 38,000 of them are not smokers themselves but regularly people breeathing in secondhand smoke. However, lung cancer by non-smokers is not on the rises, says a related new report.

Most of us already know about the link between smoking and lung and bronchial cancers, and the research showed that they add up to half of all of the smoking-related cancers.

But the study shows that, smoking also appeared to be the major cause of larynx, mouth, pharynx, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, kidney, bladder, cervix and acute myelogenous leukemia cancers.

In the U.S., those cancers occurred most among Blacks and Whites and men. These are the groups that are the most intensive tobacco-smokers, the CDC says. 

In ranking U.S. states, the CDC found Kentucky to have the highest rates of lung cancer, and western states to have the lowest rates of smoking and smoking-related cancers. The report says we need to fight tobacco use more aggressively and help more people quit smoking, because it is the biggest preventable cause of numerous diseases and deaths.

For more on the report go to

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