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- Thu Dec 13, 2007 10:43 am
I am a 50 year old male who has no history of any type of cancer on either side of my family. I have been smoking at least 3 cigars per day for the past 10 years. I get a checkup of my mouth by an oral surgeon once every year or so to look for signs of mouth cancer (last checkup about 6 months ago was clear). I guess that my general question is, what are the chances of developing mouth or throat cancer from smoking so many cigars? I work out regularly, eat a good diet with a lot of broccoli and other greens, take a lot of Omega 3, garlic, lecithin and broccoli supplements. I love smoking cigars, so stopping or cutting down is not an option. Thank you for your help.
| Debbie Miller, RN
- Thu Dec 13, 2007 8:09 pm
At three per day, your risk of developing oral cancers are up to eight times that of a non-smoker. Other cancers are also increased such as esophageal, pancreatic, and heart/lung if you inhale particularly.
Any amount of healthy living otherwise at least helps because you can decrease your risk of colon cancer with eating broccoli, and improved cardiovascular health can protect you from other diseases even aside from cancer but it isn't like you can keep score and the good you do will cancel out the bad. It helps but can't undo the damage of the smoking.
Quitting is your best defense. You say that is not an option so you are choosing your current comfort level over any future risk this brings. These are decisions we all must make every day.
Best of luck to you.
| Dr. Safaa Mahmoud
- Fri Oct 17, 2008 2:08 pm
I agree with Debbie, and I would like to add some facts that may help others understand the risk of smoking in general and smoking cigar in particular.
Risks from both cigars and cigarettes smoking are related to the degree of exposure (daily exposure and the amount or the level enhaled) .
Both scigars and cigarettes contain similar forms of toxins and carcinogens (cancer causing). However, one cigar may contain as much tobacco as an entire pack of cigarettes. The differences in risks is linked to the differences in their smoking habits. Most cigarette smokers smoke every day while the majority of cigar smokers smoke only occasionally and do not inhale. However, all cigar and cigarette smokers are at higher risk to develop cancer than non smokers.
They increase the risk of lips, mouth, tongue, throat, and larynx cancer and those who inhale are at higher risk of esophageal cancer. Holding even an unlit cigar between the lips exposes this part to carcinogens.
In addition, those who inhale have higher risk of kidney, pancreatic, cervical, stomach cancers, bladder, as well as acute myeloid leukemia.
Lung cancer risk although less than those smoke cigarettes is still higher (double) than non smoker. However, the risk for those smoke five cigars a day is comparable to those smoke one pack of cigarettes a day.
Cancer is one of the major health risk from smoking and it causes many other health risks on other body systems.
Studies showed that higher risk of death is expected for those smoke 3 or more cigars than those smoke 2 or fewer cigars a day.
I advise you to reconsider smoking quitting programs.