Smoking increases risks for head and neck cancers

Aug 27, 2007

Smoking significantly increases the risk for head and neck cancers for both men and women, regardless of the anatomic site. Published in the October 1, 2007 issue of CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, a large, prospective study confirmed strong associations between current and past cigarette smoking and malignancies of the head and neck in both genders.

Cancers of the head and neck include cancers of the larynx, nasal passages/nose, oral cavity, and pharynx. Worldwide, more than 500,000 people are diagnosed with these cancers every year.

According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), men are more than three times more likely than women to be diagnosed with head and neck cancer and almost twice as likely to die from their disease. While tobacco use has long been identified as an important risk factor for head and neck cancers, the new study finds that smoking plays a greater role in the development of head and neck cancer in women than men.

Dr. Neal Freedman from the NCI and co-investigators analyzed data from 476,211 men and women prospectively followed from 1995 to 2000 to assess gender differences in risk for cancer in specific head and neck sites. Analysis showed that the risk of smoking leading to any type of head and neck cancer was significantly greater in women than in men. While 45 percent of these cancers could be attributed to smoking in men, 75 percent could be attributed to smoking in women.

“Incidence rates of head and neck cancer were higher in men than in women in all categories examined,” conclude the authors, “but smoking was associated with a larger relative increase in head and neck cancer risk in women than in men.” To reduce the burden of head and neck cancer, public health efforts should continue to aim at eliminating smoking in both women and men.

Source: John Wiley & Sons

Explore further: Death rates from pancreatic cancer predicted to rise in Europe in 2014

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Polymeric nanoparticles attack head and neck cancer

Jul 15, 2011

Head and neck cancer, the sixth most common cancer in the world, has remained one of the more difficult malignancies to treat, and even when treatment is successful, patients suffer severely from the available therapies. ...

Recommended for you

Phase 3 study may be game-changer for acute myeloid leukemia

2 hours ago

Moffitt Cancer Center researchers say clinical trials for a new experimental drug to treat acute myeloid leukemia (AML) are very promising. Patients treated with CPX-351, a combination of the chemotherapeutic drugs cytarabine ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Sensors may keep hospitalized patients from falling

(Medical Xpress)—To keep hospitalized patients safer, University of Arizona researchers are working on new technology that involves a small, wearable sensor that measures a patient's activity, heart rate, ...

Fresh hope for preventing pneumonia in the elderly

There are calls for the frail and elderly not be be overlooked for vaccines against pneumonia this winter, with UNSW research challenging conventional wisdom on immunisation effectiveness in older patients.

Phase transiting to a new quantum universe

(Phys.org) —Recent insight and discovery of a new class of quantum transition opens the way for a whole new subfield of materials physics and quantum technologies.

Imaging turns a corner

(Phys.org) —Scientists have developed a new microscope which enables a dramatically improved view of biological cells.

NASA image: Volcanoes in Guatemala

This photo of volcanoes in Guatemala was taken from NASA's C-20A aircraft during a four-week Earth science radar imaging mission deployment over Central and South America. The conical volcano in the center ...