Smoking ups risk of developing a second cancer

Cigarette smoking is a well established risk factor for primary cancer. Smoking is known to significantly increase a person’s risk of developing lung and kidney cancer. New study shown that people who smoked prior to their first cancer diagnosis are also much more likely to go on to develop a second smoking associated cancer.

A large study has found that cigarette smoking prior to the first diagnosis of lung (stage I), bladder, kidney or head and neck cancer increase the risk of developing a second smoking-associated cancer.

US researchers examined data from five major studies involving over 15,000 people with lung, head and neck, bladder and kidney cancer. They focused on the development of second primary cancers.

The first time a person is diagnosed with cancer, it is referred to as a first primary cancer. A second primary cancer is a second cancer that has been diagnosed that is not considered metastases, but is in face a distinct, new cancer.

The researchers found that people who smoked at least 20 cigarettes per day prior to their first diagnosis of cancer had a five-fold increased risk of going on to develop a second smoking associated cancer, compared to people who had survived the same cancers but had never smoked.

“As survival improves for a number of smoking-related cancers, patients are living longer; however, smoking may increase the risk of developing a second smoking-related cancer among these survivors,” said Meredith S. Shiels, lead study author and research fellow with the National Cancer Institute’s Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics.

Notably, current smoking at any level increased the risk of overall mortality across all cancer disease sites.

“Our study demonstrates that health care providers should emphasize the importance of smoking cessation to all their patients, including cancer survivors,” Shiels concluded.

Almost 900 second primary smoking associated cancers were diagnosed among the participants. Across the four different cancers assessed those who smoked at least 20 cigarettes per day before their first cancer diagnosis were more likely to develop a second smoking associated cancer.

Researchers examined data from five cohorts which included 2,552 patients with stage I lung, 6,386 with bladder, 3,179 with kidney and 2,967 with head and neck cancer.

The risks were as follows to cancer.

  • With head and neck cancer, they were 4.5 times more likely
  • With stage one lung cancer, smokers were 3.3 times more likely to develop a second smoking-associated cancer.
  • With bladder cancer, they were 3.7 times more likely.
  • With kidney cancer, they were 5.3 times more likely.

The study also found that people, who smoked fewer than 20 cigarettes per day, and former smokers, also had an increased risk of developing a second smoking associated cancer compared to never smokers; however the risks fell in line with the number of years since they had quit the habit.

How to keep your eyes healthy

Now-a-days most of the computer users suffer from the symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). An expert says that it is important to take breaks and blink regularly and get relaxed for every 20 minutes.

According to a recent study, continues sitting at your desk can increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke, reports.

But that’s not the only thing at work that poses a risk to our health. The good news is that it’s not difficult to maintain eye health.
Around 70 percent of computer users regularly leave work suffering from the symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome. It is important to follow a few easy steps to ensure sitting at a desk doesn’t take its toll on your health:

It is necessary to stay clear of CVS. It’s possible, now-a-days, to spend most of your waking hours surrounded by screens, from checking your emails and texts first thing in the morning, working nine to five in an office, and then catching up on some evening TV or computer games, finally, checking your trusty mobile again as you drift off to sleep.

Although this technology has many positive effects on our professional and social lives, what is it doing to your health? One significant effect of constant screen use is CVS.

“When we use a computer for long periods, we only blink around 4 – 7 times per minute. Our usual rate of blinking is more like 18 – 20 times per minute, so this is a significant reduction – it can cause symptoms such as dry eyes and blurred vision, “said Professor Dan Reinstein of the London Vision Clinic.”

Other common symptoms of CVS include red eyes, eye strain, double vision, headaches and difficulty refocusing the eyes.

Spending a lot of time in front of a computer screen can damage the muscles in your eyes. This can lead to eye strain or eye fatigue. Symptoms include:

  • Difficulty focusing (blurred vision)
  • Double vision (diplopia)
  • Headache
  • Soreness
  • Eye dryness.

Reinstein provides his top tips on how to prevent CVS, and keep our eyes healthy and comfortable.
Take a short break from your computer screen at least once every hour; ensure that you move and look away from your computer.

  • Keep your computer screen clean at regular intervals to remove dust.
  • Drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated.
  • Be conscious of blinking regularly.
  • Ensure that your computer screen is not flickering.
  • Optimise the angle, height and distance of your screen. Being the wrong distance away from your screen can increase muscle strain and visual discomfort.
  • Avoid ‘glare’ from windows and overhead lights.
  • Be aware of environmental factors. Air-conditioning and fans can worsen the dry-eye symptoms of CVS.
  • If contact lenses make your eyes feel dry, avoid wearing them when using a computer. CVS is particularly common in contact lens wearers; at the London Vision Clinic, we often see patients who are choosing to have laser eye surgery because they find they can no longer wear their contact lenses for long periods, especially while using computers.
  • And, most importantly, have an eye examination twice in a year.
  • Anti glare devices can also be useful.