Smoking increases risk for liver, pancreatic and colorectal cancers

CHICAGO, IL (May 17, 2005) Smoking may have a devastating effect on gastrointestinal health and increase a person's risk of developing pancreatic and liver cancer, according to new research presented today at Digestive Disease Week 2005 (DDW). Furthermore, data from the Nurses' Health Study shows that meat intake and smoking play a part in significantly increasing a woman's risk of colorectal cancer. DDW is the largest international gathering of physicians, researchers and academics in the fields of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery.

"The effects of smoking on the respiratory system are well known and well documented through research," said Lee Kaplan, M.D., Ph.D., of Massachusetts General Hospital. "Recognizing that this high-risk behavior also hurts the digestive system is fundamental in preventing life-threatening cancers and improving overall health."

Smoking and Alcohol Use Associated with Markedly Earlier Age of Onset in Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma (Abstract 360)

With the link between smoking and pancreatic adenocarcinoma established, researchers from Evanston Northwestern Healthcare, an academic health system affiliated with Northwestern University, investigated the impact of smoking and alcohol use on the age of pancreatic cancer diagnosis and found that both play significant roles in the early onset of the disease.

Patients who were currently alcohol and tobacco users were diagnosed an average of 13 years earlier than individuals who had never used alcohol or tobacco, at median ages of 61 and 74 respectively for initial diagnosis. The data shows that smoking may have a more profound negative effect on the pancreas than alcohol, with current tobacco users being consistently diagnosed earlier than individuals who were current or former alcohol users. Study results also indicate that smoking and alcohol use may have a long-term effect on the pancreas, even after cessation. Indivi


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