In life there’s always the possibility we may take a risk and take a puff or two of a cigarette. But one thing we know for sure is that smoking has serious health risks. Whether you’re a binge smoker, a casual smoker, there is always a significant health risk that comes along with it.
In my last blog I discussed how processed meat and red meat increased the likelihood of developing certain cancers. In this blog I want to expose how smoking – in anyway also increases your risk of developing lung cancer.
What makes smoking so dangerous?
Three of these chemicals are cyanide, carbon monoxide and formaldehyde.
Now to make my point more clear:
These are just three of the dangerous chemicals in tobacco smoke, no human should inhale a chemical that deceased specimens are kept in.
The statistics behind the smoke
Smoking can cause cancer in almost every organ of the body, a few being mouth, throat, nose, liver, kidney and even bone marrow. But the most predominant is lung cancer. More than 80% of cases of lung cancer are due to smoking.
How does smoking lead to lung cancer?
Lung cancer forms simply from the change in one cell. This change comes from what we know as the p53 gene. The p53 gene is found in the nucleus of every body cell, and obviously the nucleus houses our DNA. The p53 gene codes for a protein which regulates the cell cycle and works to supress tumours – which basically means they supress cancer.
When you have a cigarette you are inhaling many carcinogens and one found in tobacco smoke is benzo pyrene, this chemical has been shown to directly affect the p53 gene. Benzo pyrene reacts with the DNA in the nucleus of the cell and permanently damages it, the cell will then continue to mutate. The benzo pyrene sticks to the DNA and interrupts the normal transcription/replication process and cannot make any healthy DNA.
When this cell with damaged p53 then goes to replicate as part of normal cell division it will create even more damaged cancer cells. Because the p53 gene cannot destroy these cells they go on to form into a lung cancer tumour.
The social implications of smoking
Not only can smoking damage your health but can also damage your opportunities and overall reputation.
Negative social implications of smoking:
People say that smoking is a way to reduce stress… but is it worth all the health risks and social complications?
For some people yes – for me no.
When I was just four years old I witnessed my grandfather pass away from thyroid cancer which was exacerbated by smoking.
Don’t let yourself be another statistic.
Later on we will cover how leading a healthy lifestyle can decrease your risk of developing cancer.
Australian Government Department of Health 2012, P53 Fact sheet, Australian Government, retrieved 20 April 2016, <http://www.quitnow.gov.au>
Cancer Australia 2016, Lung Cancer, Australian Government, retrieved 21 April 2016, <https://lung-cancer.canceraustralia.gov.au/statistics>
CTV News 2012, Large anti – smoking warning now on cigarette packs, CTV News, retrieved 20 April 2016, <http://www.ctvnews.ca/health/health-headlines/larger-anti-smoking-warnings-now-on-cigarette-packs-1.844025>
National Cancer Institute 2014, Harms of Cigarette Smoking and Health Benefits of Quitting, National Institutes of Health, retrieved 21 April 2016, <http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/tobacco/cessation-fact-sheet#q1>
Quit Victoria 2016, Does smoking cause cancer?, Quit Victoria, retrieved 21 April 2016, <http://www.quit.org.au/about/frequently-asked-questions/how-does-smoking-affect-my-body/does-smoking-cause-cancer.html#mainmenu>