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Smokers might benefit from earlier colon cancer screening
Date:2/13/2008

additional, significant risk factor, compared to never smoking. In fact, when active smokers and passive smoking were combined into one subgroup, the age at cancer diagnosis was nearly 10 years earlier, Peppone said.

Although smoking is a well-known risk factor for many cancers, only recent studies have suggested that cigarettes may cause colon cancer.

The biological reasons for the cigarette smoke-colon cancer risk are unclear. However, researchers believe that cigarette smoke reduces the bodys resistance to malignancies, just as smoking can depress immune function in general, impairing the ability to fight off infections and viruses. Carcinogens from smoke reach the bowel through direct circulation or by swallowing smoke and passing it through the intestines.

Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer among men and women. Genetics account for about 10 percent of new cases, the study said, while more than 75 percent of the cases arise from sporadic mutations and/or environmental and lifestyle factors such as smoking, a poor diet, alcohol use, lack of exercise and obesity.


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Contact: Leslie Orr
Leslie_Orr@urmc.rochester.edu
585-275-5774
University of Rochester Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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