Various studies have been done and are still being done regarding the direct effect of smoking, first-hand or second-hand, to breast cancer. Early studies first didn’t show any correlation but recent researches seem to point out that smoking can be a contributing factor to breast cancer.
Smoke from cigarette is a powerful carcinogen and can lower levels of oestrogen. Since oestrogen is found to be a contributing factor to breast cancer, earlier researches have maintained that smoking is not a risk to breast cancer. Recent studies, however, seem to be stating the opposite. A link has been found between smoking and breast cancer through the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons as well as other chemicals which are said to cause mammary tumours among animals.
Women who have been smoking for a long time, especially those who have been in the habit way before giving birth to their first child, are found to have an increased risk to the disease. Heavy smokers, particularly those who smoked for at least a pack of cigarettes a day for a span of 30 years, have 28 percent risk of acquiring breast cancer.
A Harvard Medical School associate professor of cancer epidemiology and ob-gyn conducted a study and found that though smoking is not on the top of the list of important breast cancer risk factors, heavy-duty smokers have to be given closer attention. Those who have been smoking for a longer period of time and in a more frequent manner have to take caution.
At the top of the risk factor list are those that are related to hormonal change and imbalance. There are other aspects that can cause the occurrence or the aggravation of breast cancer like genes, dense breast tissue, menstrual cycles, contraceptives, alcohol, and obesity, among other things.
However, smoking, per se, is dangerous to one’s health. If it cannot directly instigate breast cancer, it will lead to other diseases, such as lung cancer, emphysema, pneumonia, cough, wheezing and colds. It is still best to avoid any of these diseases – breast cancer or otherwise – by totally giving up tobacco system and clear one’s body of the damaging chemicals it generate.