Can Cancer Be Prevented
With our current knowledge, we believe that at least one in three cancer cases can be prevented. Smoking, sun exposure, poor diet, alcohol consumption and inadequate physical activity are significant risk factors, which can be modified.
Not smoking, or giving up, is the single most effective strategy to prevent cancer. One in nine cancer cases, and more than one in five cancer deaths are caused by cigarette smoking.
Protecting your skin from exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation is a simple and very effective strategy for preventing skin cancer. Around 12,000 Australian men and women are diagnosed with a melanoma each year, and an estimated 434,000 people are treated for one or more non-melanoma skin cancers. In 2016 there were nearly 2000 deaths from skin cancer in Australia, 1281 from melanoma and 679 from non-melanoma. Relative five-year survival rates for melanoma are 89% for men and 94% for women.
It is estimated that more than 4000 cancer deaths annually are due to poor diet, alcohol consumption, physical inactivity and being overweight. Again, these are deaths that can be prevented. See our preventing cancer section for more information on how you can reduce your cancer risk.
History Of Smoking Affects How The Body Fights Melanoma
According to a new study, melanoma patients with a history of smoking are more likely to die from the disease than patients who do not smoke. The study, funded by Cancer Research UK and published in the journal Cancer Research, found that melanoma patients with a history of smoking cigarettes are 40 percent less likely to survive the disease than those who have never smoked.
The study authors believe smoking may decrease the immune systems ability to fight melanoma. However, it is not clear which chemicals in cigarettes are directly responsible. More than 700 melanoma patients participated in the study, which reported several genetic and environmental predictors of patients immune response to melanoma. Though the study could not determine for sure that smoking caused the drop in survival, other researchers have reported smoking has an adverse effect on the immune system.
The result is that smokers could still mount an immune response to try and destroy the melanoma, but it appears to have been less effective than in never-smokers, and smokers were less likely to survive their cancer, says lead author Julia Newton-Bishop, MB ChB, MD, professor of dermatology at the University of Leeds. Based on these findings, stopping smoking should be strongly recommended for people diagnosed with melanoma.
There can also be a higher risk of healing complications in patients who smoke, including wound breakdown, localized tissue death and infection.
What Changes In The Skin Occur Due To Exposure To The Sun
Exposure to sun causes most of the wrinkles and age spots on our faces. People think a glowing complexion means good health, but skin color obtained from being in the sun can actually speed up the effects of aging and increase the risk of developing skin cancer.
Sun exposure causes most of the skin changes that we think of as a normal part of aging. Over time, the sun’s ultraviolet light damages the fibers in the skin called elastin. When these fibers break down, the skin begins to sag, stretch, and lose its ability to go back into place after stretching. The skin also bruises and tears more easily in addition to taking longer to heal. So while sun damage to the skin may not be apparent when you’re young, it will definitely show later in life. The sun can also cause issues for your eyes, eyelids, and the skin around the eyes.
Changes in the skin related to sun exposure:
- Precancerous and cancerous skin lesions caused by loss of the skin’s immune function.
- Benign tumors.
- Fine and coarse wrinkles.
- Freckles discolored areas of the skin, called mottled pigmentation and sallowness, yellow discoloration of the skin.
- Telangiectasias, the dilation of small blood vessels under the skin.
- Elastosis, the destruction of the elastic tissue causing lines and wrinkles.
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Development Of Wrinkles And Fine Lines
Puffing on cigarettes can also cause wrinkles and fine lines.
“The nicotine from smoke leads to constriction of blood vessels and therefore leads to a deficiency of oxygen and nutrients to the skin, Kassardjian said. “This causes the appearance of visible fine lines and wrinkles to develop more quickly.”
Kassardjian added that smokers are especially susceptible to developing wrinkles around their mouths, which are aptly called “smokers lines.” “Smokers tend to use the muscles around their mouths when they pucker to inhale,” he said. “This repetitive motion can lead to a quicker development of fine lines and wrinkles in this area.”
Smoking Linked To Increased Risk Of Melanoma Spreading
12 October 2017
Need another reason to quit smoking? New research has shown that melanoma patients who smoke have an increased risk of their disease progressing compared to patients who do not smoke.
An international collaboration of researchers, including a team from Melanoma Institute Australia, analysed data from two large clinical trials to investigate whether there was any link between smoking and an increased risk of melanoma metastases in sentinel lymph nodes.
The study reviewed results for more than 4000 melanoma patients who were categorised as either current smokers, former smokers or those who had never smoked.
The analysis revealed that current smokers were significantly more likely to have a sentinel lymph node metastasis compared to former smokers or those who have never smoked.
Other characteristics that correlated with a poorer prognosis were also observed in smokers. Their primary melanomas were thicker and more were ulcerated in patients who smoked compared to those who had never smoked.
These results suggest that smoking may promote early spread of melanoma to regional lymph nodes, commented co-author and Senior Surgeon at Melanoma Institute Australia, Professor John Thompson.
There is now enough evidence to advise patients that they substantially increase the risk of their melanoma spreading if they smoke.
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Smoking And Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus
There is more than ten-fold risk of chronic cutaneous lupus erythematosus in smokers compared to non-smokers. Smoking increases autoimmune activity by activating the lymphocytes. There is also suspicion that treatment of chronic cutaneous LE is less effective in smokers.
Treatment of cutaneous lupus erythematosus with hydroxychloroquine and other medications is less effective in smokers.
Discoid lupus erythematosus: severe in smokers
- Oral lichen planus and erosive lichen planus
- Hairy tongue . In this condition the surface of the tongue has elongated hair-like processes and is yellow, brown, green or black due to bacterial overgrowth. The condition is due to soft diet, poor oral hygiene, lack of saliva and smoking.
- Actinic cheilitis ie, dry peeling lips due to sun damage.
Oral disease: worse in smokers
No Higher Risk Of Melanoma
Still, the researchers believe its likely that tobacco causes basal cell skin cancer, and Bath-Hextall called the findings another good reason to give up smoking.
In an email to Reuters Health, she said people should regularly check their skin for early skin cancer. She added that doctors should actively survey people at high risk of squamous cell cancer such as smokers.
Oddly, smokers dont seem to be at increased risk for melanoma. In fact, some studies have suggested they might even have a smaller chance of getting the disease — although scientists are still trying to figure out if thats really true.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, a government-backed expert panel, says there is too little data to balance the harms and benefits of skin cancer screening.
However, the task force recommends counseling fair-skinned children and young adults aged 10 to 24 years about cutting back on ultraviolet radiation — whether from the sun or indoor tanning — to reduce their risk of skin cancer.
While squamous and basal cell carcinomas are the most common skin cancer, melanoma is the deadliest, accounting for nearly 9,000 of the 12,000 or so skin cancer deaths each year in the U.S., according to the American Cancer Society.
Can Marijuana Treat Skin Problems
Smoke makes skin conditions worse and causes diseases such as eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis. But smoking marijuana is the only exception that can help you treat various skin conditions such as acne and other diseases.
The primary factor of the disease psoriasis is the swift growth of the skin cells, known as the keratinocytes. Recent research conducted and showed that cannabis could slow down the growth of immature cells. In other words, cannabinoids can also work as an effective remedy for the skin. It is beneficial for the skin conditions that cause excessive growth of the cell. Allergic reactions are the standard conditions of the skin.
This side effect is highly common in the case of eczema. There are various studies indicating that cannabis comes with properties that regulate the immune system, which efficiently reduces skin inflammation. There are also topical, anti-itching, cannabinoid drugs that will effectively treat chronic skin conditions. The OG kush seeds are something known to be very beneficial for the body that are effective for other conditions such as elevating the mood and getting rid of skin conditions. Other than the skin problems, Marijuana will take care of medical conditions such as:
Smoking And Hidradenitis Suppurativa
Nicotine causes vasoconstriction and hypercoagulability, increasing the chance of blood clots occluding blood vessels.
Smoking can aggravate or initiate:
- Ulceration, in patients with systemicsclerosis
- Thromboangiitis obliterans , in which blood clots occur in small blood vessels
- Thrombosis caused by thrombophilia, antiphospholipid syndrome or drugs including oral contraceptives.
Vascular effects of smoking
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How Is Cancer Treated
The treatment for cancer depends on the type of cancer and the stage of the disease . Doctors may also consider the patients age and general health. Often, the goal of treatment is to cure the cancer. In other cases, the goal is to control the disease or to reduce symptoms for as long as possible. The treatment plan for a person may change over time.12
Most treatment plans include surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy. Other plans involve biological therapy .12
Some cancers respond best to a single type of treatment. Other cancers may respond best to a combination of treatments.12
For patients who get very high doses of chemotherapy or radiation therapy, a stem cell transplant, also known as a bone marrow transplant, may be recommended by their doctor. This is because high-dose therapies destroy both cancer cells and normal blood cells. A stem cell transplant can help the body to make healthy blood cells to replace the ones lost due to the cancer treatment. Its a complicated procedure with many side effects and risks.12
Quitting smoking improves the outlook for people with cancer. People who continue to smoke after diagnosis raise their risk for future cancers and death. They are more likely to die from cancer than nonsmokers and are more likely to develop a second tobacco-related cancer.5
Colorectal Cancer And Ostomies
An ostomy is a surgical opening made to the body that allows waste to be eliminated from the body.13 Ostomies are used in treatment or management of cancer or other diseases.14 Ostomies are needed when the bodys normal opening is closed or altered as part of cancer treatment. An ostomy pouch is located around the opening to collect waste for removal. Ostomies are usually done during the first stages of surgical treatment to remove cancer.13 For patients with colorectal cancer, a colostomy can be a lifesaving surgery.13,14 An ostomy can be temporary or permanent.13,14 Temporary ostomies are used while the affected area of the body heals. Permanent ostomies are used when cancer has resulted in the removal of the entire colon or the end of it.13,14
The United Ostomy Associations of America external icon website focuses on the positive quality of life people can attain following ostomy surgery and provides information on a variety of topics, including:
- Descriptions of ostomy terms
- Tips for living with an ostomy
- Support groups
- Ways to connect with others who have had ostomy surgery
- Medical information
- Information for specific individuals
- Information about food and nutrition
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What About Treatment Side Effects
Usually when you suffer a disease you feel symptoms such as pain, and the treatment makes you feel better. Unfortunately, with some cancers, you may not have experienced any pain or discomfort until the treatment begins.
Cancer treatments designed to kill cancer cells can have unpleasant side effects, such as nausea and vomiting, bowel problems, tiredness, hair loss and scalp problems, and effects on nerves and muscles.
Before beginning treatment, it is best to be aware of the possible side effects and changes that your body may go through, and ways of managing or reducing them.
Continue Learning About Skin Cancer Causes & Risk Factors
Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.
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Why Smoking Is Bad For Your Skin
There is no reason to smoke. It does not have any benefits and can harm you in many ways. Smoking is not only bad for your health, but it can also ruin your skin.
Smoking Cuts off Oxygen
Smoking reduces blood flow to your skin. If this happens, then your skin will not be able to get the oxygen and nutrients that it needs. This can increase the risk of skin infections. It can also make it harder for acne scars and other skin issues to heal.
Causes the Skin to Age Faster
When many people think about things that can cause your skin to age faster, they only think about the sun. However, smoking can actually cause your skin to age quicker than the sun. There are several ways that smoking can accelerate the aging process. When you smoke, you tighten your mouth and squint your eyes. This can cause wrinkles to develop around those areas.
It can also cause your skin to lose moisture. Wrinkles are more likely to develop if your skin is dry. There have been studies done to confirm that smoking can accelerate the aging process. One of the studies compared non-smokers to smokers. The results of the studies showed that moderate smokers were twice as likely to develop wrinkles. Heavy smokers were three times as likely to develop wrinkles.
There was another study done that examined people who smoked 30 cigarettes per day. The results of the study showed that a person who smokes a pack of cigarettes per day would look like an 84-year-old when they are 70-years-old.
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Basal Cell Nevus Syndrome
In this rare congenital condition, people develop many basal cell cancers over their lifetime. People with this syndrome may also have abnormalities of the jaw , eyes, and nervous tissue.
Most of the time this condition is inherited from a parent. In families with this syndrome, those affected often start to develop basal cell cancers as children or teens. Exposure to UV rays can increase the number of tumors these people get.
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How Does Smoking Cause Cancer
- Smoking is the biggest preventable cause of cancer in the UK, and worldwide.
- Harmful chemicals in cigarette smoke affect the entire body not just our lungs. And smoking causes at least 15 different cancer types.
- There is no safe level of smoking – stopping completely is the best thing you can do for your health, and there are many support and quitting options available.
How Does Smoking Cause Ageing Of The Skin
It is not certain exactly how smoking causes early ageing of the facial skin. Theories include:
- Heat from the cigarette directly burning the skin
- Changes in the elastic fibres of the skin
- Narrowing of blood vessels , which reduces blood supply to the skin and can cause changes in skin elastic fibres and loss of collagen
- Reducing vitamin A levels and moisture of the skin.
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How Can Uv Light Cause Skin Cancer
Every time UV light hits our skin, it can damage some of the DNA inside our skins cells. This happens every time we:
Spend time in the sun without sun protection
Use indoor tanning equipment
The body tries to repair this damage. When the body can no longer repair all the damage, changes called mutations develop in our skins cells. The mutated cells, which are cancer cells, can multiple quickly. As these cells pile up, a tumor develops.
When a tumor forms in skin cells called squamous cells, we get SCC of the skin. These cells are found in the outermost layer of our skin, which is called the epidermis. The following picture shows you where these cells live.
Risk Factors For Melanoma Skin Cancer
A risk factor is anything that raises your risk of getting a disease such as cancer. Different cancers have different risk factors. Some risk factors, like smoking and excess sun exposure, can be changed. Others, like your age or family history, cant be changed.
Having a risk factor, or even many risk factors, does not mean that you will get melanoma. Many people with risk factors never get melanoma. And some people who get it may have few or no known risk factors.
Still, its important to know about the risk factors for melanoma because there may be things you can do to lower your risk of getting it. If you are at higher risk because of certain factors, there are also things you can do that might help find it early, when its likely to be easier to treat.
Several risk factors can make a person more likely to develop melanoma.
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