Smoking triples risk of a common type of skin cancer

December 27, 2000

Smoking more than triples the risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma, one of the most common forms of skin cancer, researchers from the Netherlands have shown.

A link between smoking and this common form of skin cancer has previously been made, but this is the first study to quantify a "substantial" risk, said the study's co-author, Jan Nico Bouwes Bavinck, MD, of the Leiden University Medical Center.

"Everybody realizes that sun exposure is a risk for skin cancer, but almost no one knows that smoking is also an important, and independent, risk factor," he said. "Smoking is now associated with an increasing number of cancers beyond lung cancer, such as bladder, head and neck, cervical, and skin cancer."

His team of researchers compared the risk of smoking in 580 patients with different types of skin cancer, and in 386 people without skin cancer. The researchers found that smoking was only associated with development of squamous cell carcinoma, not basal cell carcinoma or melanoma.

The researchers concluded that current smokers were 3.3 times more likely to develop the cancer, and that the risk dropped to 1.9 in former smokers. They also demonstrated a clear relationship between the number of cigarettes smoked and cancer risk. Those who smoked 1-10 cigarettes daily had a risk of 2.4; smoking 11-20 cigarettes a day increased the risk to 3.0, and those who smoked 21 or more cigarettes a day had a risk of 4.1. Pipe smokers were also at increased risk, but cigar smokers were not.

Although the researchers do not know why smoking increases the risk of that particular skin cancer, they theorize it damages DNA in skin tissue, leading to errant cell growth.
"Relation Between Smoking and Skin Cancer;" J.N. Bouwes Bavinck, MD, et al.; Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands. Vol. 19, No. 1, (January) 2001, pp. 231-238.

American Society of Clinical Oncology

Related Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

New blood cancer treatment works by selectively interfering with cancer cell signalling
University of Alberta scientists have identified the mechanism of action behind a new type of precision cancer drug for blood cancers that is set for human trials, according to research published in Nature Communications.

UCI researchers uncover cancer cell vulnerabilities; may lead to better cancer therapies
A new University of California, Irvine-led study reveals a protein responsible for genetic changes resulting in a variety of cancers, may also be the key to more effective, targeted cancer therapy.

Breast cancer treatment costs highest among young women with metastic cancer
In a fight for their lives, young women, age 18-44, spend double the amount of older women to survive metastatic breast cancer, according to a large statewide study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Cancer mortality continues steady decline, driven by progress against lung cancer
The cancer death rate declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, including a 2.2% drop from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop in cancer mortality ever reported.

Stress in cervical cancer patients associated with higher risk of cancer-specific mortality
Psychological stress was associated with a higher risk of cancer-specific mortality in women diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Cancer-sniffing dogs 97% accurate in identifying lung cancer, according to study in JAOA
The next step will be to further fractionate the samples based on chemical and physical properties, presenting them back to the dogs until the specific biomarkers for each cancer are identified.

Moffitt Cancer Center researchers identify one way T cell function may fail in cancer
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have discovered a mechanism by which one type of immune cell, CD8+ T cells, can become dysfunctional, impeding its ability to seek and kill cancer cells.

More cancer survivors, fewer cancer specialists point to challenge in meeting care needs
An aging population, a growing number of cancer survivors, and a projected shortage of cancer care providers will result in a challenge in delivering the care for cancer survivors in the United States if systemic changes are not made.

New cancer vaccine platform a potential tool for efficacious targeted cancer therapy
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have discovered a solution in the form of a cancer vaccine platform for improving the efficacy of oncolytic viruses used in cancer treatment.

American Cancer Society outlines blueprint for cancer control in the 21st century
The American Cancer Society is outlining its vision for cancer control in the decades ahead in a series of articles that forms the basis of a national cancer control plan.

Read More: Cancer News and Cancer Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to