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How does smoking increase colon cancer risk?

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Updated: October 18, 2006

Question: How does smoking increase colon cancer risk?

Answer: Smoking increases your risk of developing colon cancer for two main reasons. First, inhaled or swallowed tobacco smoke transports carcinogens to the colon. Second, tobacco use seems to increase polyp size.

In general, the bigger the polyp, the greater the chance it will become cancerous. Studies indicate that 12% of fatal colorectal cancers may be attributable to smoking.

Related Research:

Sources:
  1. Colon Cancer: How is Colon Cancer Inherited? Genetic Health. 4 Aug. 2000. 23 Jun. 2006 [http://www.genetichealth.com/CRC_Colon_Cancer_Does_Colon_Cancer_Run_in_Families.shtml].
  2. Colon Cancer: What Causes Colon Cancer? eHealthMD. Oct. 2004. 23 Jun. 2006 [http://www.ehealthmd.com/library/colon-cancer/Colon-Cancer_causes.html].
  3. Colorectal Cancer Prevention and Treatment. National Foundation for Cancer Research. 23 Jun. 2006 [http://www2.nfcr.org/site/PageServer?pagename=cancers_colorectal].
  4. Detailed Guide: Colon and Rectum Cancer: What Are the Risk Factors for Colorectal Cancer? American Cancer Society. 7 Mar. 2006. 23 Jun. 2006 [http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/content/CRI_2_4_2X_What_are_the_risk_factors_for_colon_and_rectum_cancer.asp].
  5. Overview: Colon and Rectum Cancer: What Causes Colorectal Cancer? American Cancer Society. 15 Mar. 2006. 23 Jun. 2006 [http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/content/CRI_2_2_2X_What_causes_colorectal_cancer.asp?sitearea=].

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