Hodgkin's Risk Doubles In Women Who Smoke

Women who smoke are doubling their risk of developing Hodgkin's lymphoma and raising their risk of developing other blood-based cancers, say researchers out of Cancer Research UK, the largest cancer charity in the United Kingdom.

The findings, published in the British Journal of Cancer, are meant to influence a governmental decision about standardizing cigarette packaging in size, shape and color so as to limit the potential appeal of cigarette smoking to younger people.

Cancer Research UK director of tobacco control Jean King said,

"We urge the government to respond as quickly as possible to stop another generation from becoming addicted to a product that will kill half of all long-term smokers.”

Million Women study data used

Researchers reached their conclusions after drawing out data from the decade-long "Million Women" study. In addition to Hodgkin's lymphoma, the study found that women who smoke a pack a day were also at risk for leukemia, multiple myeloma and other blood disorders.

While in general the UK public is aware of the association between smoking and lung cancer as well as mouth and throat cancer, but a much smaller percentage of the public is aware of the growing association between smoking and cancers of the liver, pancreas, bowel, kidney, cervix, bladder, and lymphatic system.

Cigarette packaging addressed

For this reason, advocates at Cancer Research UK stress the need to downplay the packaging on cigarettes to discourage young people from starting the habit.

“These results highlight yet again how important smoking is as a cause of cancer," said study co-author Professor Valerie Beral. "Smoking raises the risk of many types of cancer, not just lung cancer, and also the risk of heart attack and stroke, which many people may not be aware of.”

Source: OnMedica

Photo by John Nyboer

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