Connection Between Smoking and Lung Cancer

Did you know that smoking is the number one cause of lung cancer? Around 80 to 90% of lung cancer are related to cigarette smoking. Dr. Sandeep Nayak, a leading surgical oncologist in India, explains that tobacco smoke exposes you to around 7000 toxic chemicals, of which 70 can cause cancer.

Dr Sandeep Nayak Created on 19th Jul, 22

We all know that smoking is injurious to health. But did you know that smoking is the number one cause of lung cancer? Yes, that’s the fact. Around 80 to 90% of lung cancer are related to cigarette smoking.


However, not all smokers will get lung cancer, but it does increase your chances of getting one by fifteen to thirty percent compared to non-smokers.


Dr. Sandeep Nayak, a leading surgical oncologist in India, explains that tobacco smoke exposes you to around 7000 toxic chemicals, of which 70 can cause cancer. Apart from lung cancer, smoking can cause cancer of the bowel, mouth, and throat.


His extensive knowledge and mastery of the latest surgical modalities have made Dr. Sandeep Nayak one of the best oncologist in Bangalore. Currently, he is the Chief of Surgical Oncology, MACS Clinic, and HOD of Minimal Access Surgical Oncology, Fortis Cancer Institute.


If you are a smoker or living with a smoker, then this article will surely help you understand the connection between lung cancer and smoking and why it is essential that you stop smoking.

Check out the facts regarding smoking and cancer.

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  • One out of eight cancer cases are due to smoking.
  • Approximately 22% of cancer death is caused by tobacco.
  • Lung cancer causes the most amount of cancer deaths. Approximately 1.76 million people die each year due to lung cancer.
  • Cigarette smoking is the number one reason for disability, preventable disease, and death worldwide.
  • Smoke from tobacco exposes you to 70 chemicals known to cause cancer.
  • Around 90% of lung cancer is connected to smoking.
  • You can minimize the risk of getting lung cancer by 30 to 50% within 10 years of quitting smoking. 

Dr. Sandeep Nayak, an acclaimed cancer specialist for lung cancer treatment in Bangalore, urges people to stop smoking. He regularly holds camps and seminars to make people aware of the dangers of smoking. He feels it is never too late to quit.


Read on to understand,

How your risk of lung cancer increases with smoking?

As mentioned earlier, thousands of chemicals enter your lungs when you inhale tobacco smoke. Quite a few of them have the ability to harm the DNA present in your lung cells. The body tries to restore the damage done by these chemicals, however in the long run, the body cannot cope with the damage done by smoking.This can result in the development of cancer cells.


Constant breathing in tobacco smoke can even harm the alveoli, the minute air sacs that manage the gas exchange in your respiratory system. They supply oxygen to your blood and throw out carbon dioxide when you exhale. Long-term damage to the alveoli can eventually result in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Does your risk of lung cancer increase due to secondhand smoke?

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The second most factor to cause lung cancer is secondhand smoke. Thousands of people die due to prolonged exposure to secondhand smoke. It significantly increases the risk of developing lung or breast cancer in women who are non-smokers.


Society is aware of the hazards of secondhand smoke, and many rules and regulations are being formulated to prohibit indoor smoking. You will come across many public places and restaurants that do not allow indoor smoking or have a different section for smokers.

Are e-cigarettes safe?

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The battery-operated e-cigarettes replicate the traditional cigarette by producing smoke and delivering nicotine.  There is not much research available about the long-term effects of e-cigarettes as they are relatively new. However, some studies show that e-cigarettes deliver a few cancer-causing chemicals, though in less amounts than the original cigarettes.


Further, overheating the liquid in e-cigarettes can produce formaldehyde, a cancer-causing chemical. Dr. Sandeep Nayak, one of the best oncologist in India, urges people not to use e-cigarettes. 


It poses several risks, such as getting bronchiolitis obliterans, a severe lung condition, or delivering heavy metals such as tin or lead. Moreover, most e-cigarettes have nicotine which is highly addictive and can impede brain development in teenagers.

Ways in which your health can improve by quitting smoking?

When you stop smoking, not only does your chances of developing lung cancer decreases, but it also improves your overall health. 

Some of the advantages of quitting smoking are:

  • Improves heart functions and circulation 
  • Decreases heart rate and blood pressure
  • Decreases coughing and shortness of breath
  • Minimizes the risk of pregnancy issues and impotence
  • Reduces the chance of premature birth, miscarriage, or low birth weight
  • Lowers the potential risk of bladder, pancreatic, cervix, esophagus, throat, and mouth cancer

What are the other risks factors that can cause lung cancer?

About 10 to 15% of patients with lung cancer have no smoking history. Other factors that increase the chances of lung cancer other than smoking are:

  • Family history of lung cancer
  • Prior radiation treatment in the chest area
  • Air pollution
  • Exposure to asbestos or radon gas
  • Exposure to certain chemicals like arsenic, chromium, diesel exhaust, or silica

Dr. Sandeep Nayak, a highly experienced surgical oncologist in India, says that lung cancer cases in young people are increasing, and more than 30000 new cases in people below 50 years are reported yearly.


However, giving up smoking allows the body to heal. So, make an effort to quit smoking and give life a chance. If you have been a heavy smoker for a long time, it is better to get yourself checked. You can visit a specialist in lung cancer treatment in Bangalore for accurate diagnosis and ways to minimize lung cancer risk.

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