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Smoking spreads Cancer

Smoking among women is on the rise. But the alarm bells are soaring against the same when the researchers identify that female smokers with breast cancer face an increased risk of their tumors spreading to the lungs and other organs than do nonsmokers

"There is a relationship between smoking and the spread of the disease," says study author Susan Murin, MD, associate professor of medicine at the University of California at Davis.

Dr. Murin says the research may help explain why breast cancer is more likely to be fatal among smokers as it is common for breast cancer to metastasize to the lung. Smoking also causes changes in the lungs that increase the risk of tumors spreading from other sites.

Inspite of the fact that it is not completely clear whether smoking provides a nidus in the lungs which envisages the spread, there may also be some lifestyle factors to explain the risk.

Murin also points out, however, that it's not completely clear whether smoking affects something in the lungs directly to make breast cancer more likely to spread or whether smoking causes a systemic response in the body that encourages cancers to grow and spread to other organs. There may also be other lifestyle factors unique to smokers that may also help explain the link. Smokers can still reduce their risk of dying by quitting - even after the cancer is diagnosed.

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