Date: February 09, 2003
Smokers have a greater risk of developing colorectal polyps than non-smokers and former smokers. As a result, smokers should begin screening colonoscopies at an earlier age than recommended for the general population, which is age 50. Those are the conclusions of researchers at Stony Brook University in New York.
Rajeev Attam, MD, lead author of the study, and colleagues, examined the medical records of 1,566 patients who had been given a screening colonoscopy. They found, as expected, that family history of colon cancer was a valuable predictor of colorectal polyps. But their "statistical analysis indicates that being a current smoker is equally predictive," Attam said.
"Polyps were found in about 19% of ex-smokers and about 17% of non-smokers, whereas 25% of current smokers had polyps," Attam said in remarks planned for delivery today at the 67th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology in Seattle, WA.
"Perhaps an even more important finding is that a much larger proportion of the smokers had more than two polyps... or had a polyp what a greater potential for malignancy. These differences had high statistical significance," Attam said.
The researchers reviewed the colonoscopy results of 354 smokers, 364 ex-smokers, and 848 non-smokers. Ex-smokers were defined as individuals who had smoked for at least 10 years but had quit smoking at least 10 years ago. Other characteristics of the patients were also examined: their age, gender, family, and personal histories of colon cancer, smoking habits, alcohol and wine consumption habits, fruit and vegetable consumption, weight, exercise habits and history of inflammatory bowel disease.
Diet, lifestyle, and family history have all been associated in one way or another with colon cancer risk.
The authors concluded that the highest predictor of colorectal polyps is age. People older than 60 had a relative risk of 2.0. Next in line and almost equal in predictive value was a positive family history for colon cancer (1.72) and smoking (1.74.) At lowest relative risk for developing colorectal polyps were women (0.68) and wine drinkers (0.66.)
SOURCE:American College of Gastroenterology, paper abstract, 10-21-02For more information about Colon Cancer, check out the colon cancer information area of cancerpage.com
Link to U.S. Center for Disease Control
Colorectal Cancer Screening Saves Lives
Journal of Internal Medicine 2002 Sep;252(3):206-24
Tobacco use and cancer causation:
Association by tumour type
Kuper H, Boffetta P, Adami HO.
Clinical Research Unit, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK. firstname.lastname@example.org
In the second part of our review we describe the association between tobacco use and risk of specific cancer types. There is evidence for an established association of tobacco use with cancer of the lung and larynx, head and neck, bladder, oesophagus, pancreas, stomach and kidney. In contrast, endometrial cancer is less common in women who smoke cigarettes. There are some data suggesting that tobacco use increases the risk for myeloid leukaemia, squamous cell sinonasal cancer, liver cancer, cervical cancer, colorectal cancer after an extended latency, childhood cancers and cancer of the gall bladder, adrenal gland and small intestine. Other forms of cancer, including breast, ovarian and prostate cancer, are unlikely to be linked to tobacco use.