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How avoiding tobacco greatly lowers cancer risk

Improving personal health is a goal many individuals share. One of the most effective ways for a person to be healthier while greatly reducing his or her risk of cancer is to avoid or immediately stop using all tobacco products.

Carcinogens are substances that are linked to cancer causation. Tobacco smoke alone has at least 70 carcinogens, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC also indicates that 40 percent of cancers diagnosed in the United States are likely linked to tobacco use, and tobacco products are responsible for at least 12 types of cancer.

Cancers linked to tobacco

There is no safe form of tobacco, and even smokeless products, such as snuff and chewing tobacco, have been found to cause cancer, advises the National Cancer Institute. Tobacco use can increase a person's risk for the following cancers : • Lung cancer • Esophageal cancer • Pancreatic cancer • Bladder cancer • Urinary cancer • Kidney cancer • Ureter cancer • Stomach cancer • Liver cancer • Cervical cancer • Ovarian cancer • Oral cancers • Tracheal cancer • Colorectal cancer • Laryngeal cancer • Acute myeloid leukemia Why tobacco is so unhealthy

Whether it's the tar, nicotine and acetone in cigarettes or the chemicals used when growing and preparing tobacco for commercial use, these substances can wreak havoc on an individual's health. In addition to carcinogens, the American Lung Association says cigareGes con tain about 600 ingredients total, some of which also can be found in cigars and hookahs. When these ingredients burn, they generate thousands more chemicals, many of which are poisonous.

Ingredients in tobacco affect many areas of the body, from the central nervous system to the respiratory system to the skin that covers the body. Tobacco also can damage the cardiovascular system by tightening blood vessels and restricting the flow of blood. Smoking increases blood clot formations and blood pressure, which can raise the risk of stroke.

Added dangers

Tobacco use does not only affect the person who is using tobacco. Expo sure to secondhand smoke makes nonsmokers vulnerable to cancer and other conditions. Developing fetuses exposed to tobacco chemicals when their mothers smoke during pregnancy may have brain and lung tissue damage, states the Mayo Clinic. Carbon monoxide in to bacco smoke can prevent fetuses from geGing enough oxygen and adversely af fect the delivery of nutrients. Smoking also raises a baby's risk for birth defects, such as cleft lip and palate, and contributes to low birth weight and issues with placenta.

Quitting tobacco greatly improves one's chances of avoiding a cancer diagnosis. It's an important step to take to improve overall health.

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