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Want skin cancer? Please have a cigarette

The January first issue of the Journal of clinical oncology has come out with a damning indictment of smoking. It says smokers have a three-fold chance of developing skin cancer than people who have not smoked before. The report is based on a study conducted by Dr. Jan N. Bouwes Bavinck from Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands and colleagues.

The authors found a significant increase (almost three times) in the risk of developing skin cancers amongst smokers than non-smokers.

The researchers also noted a significant dose-response relationship with the number of cigarettes and pipes smoked. However, cigar smoking did not significantly increase the risk of developing skin cancer.

The authors opine that squamous cell carcinoma is caused directly by smoking, which acts as a carcinogen and stimulates changes in the cells, which lead to the onset of cancer. Also they say tobacco retards the immune system. The team advises that cancer incidence will come down not only through lesser exposure to sun light but also by avoiding smoking.

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