January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month! And I couldn't let this month pass by without talking about such an important topic, especially because it can be directly connected to tobacco use.
Smoking cannot only cause cancer, but it can also prevent your body from fighting it. The ingredients that are in tobacco products can weaken the body's immune system and make it more difficult to kill cancer cells. The ingredients can also damage or change the cell's DNA, which controls the cell's ability to grow and function normally. When DNA is damaged through tobacco use, a cell can begin growing out of control and create a cancerous tumor. Smoking can cause cancer in the: blood, bladder, cervix, colon, esophagus, kidney, liver, lungs, stomach, and prostate, among other areas of the body. And studies show that people who smoke may be more likely to die from these diseases than non-smokers.
But if you are a current smoker, don't be discouraged! Quitting as soon possible still lowers your chances of getting cancer, and studies show that within 5 years of quitting, your chances of getting cancer lowers by 50%. And if everyone stopped smoking, one of every three deaths from cancer in the United States would not happen. Isn't that amazing?
To learn more about how smoking affects your health, click here. And if you want to learn about free resources to help you quit smoking, call 1-800-QUITNOW or click here.
Multiple Authors including coalition staff, board members, and coalition members contribute to this page.