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Studies: Colorectal, breast cancers linked to smoking

Category: Cancer Detection and Tumor Markers

Most smokers have long known that their habit puts them at risk for developing lung cancer, but new studies may encourage them to undergo colorectal and breast cancer testing as well.

Two separate studies published in the December issue of Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, indicate the harm that smoking and exposure to secondhand fumes may have on vital organs other than the lungs, Health Day News reports.

One study, which tracked more than 200,000 people over 13 years, determined that the risk of developing colorectal cancer was 27 percent higher in current smokers and 23 percent higher in former smokers, compared to people who have never lit a cigarette.

Those who have smoked for more than 50 years face a 38 percent higher risk of the disease than their non-smoking counterparts, according to the report.

In another study, California researchers found that non-smoking postmenopausal women who had a high long-term exposure to secondhand smoke over their lifetime face a 26 percent increased risk for breast cancer.

According to the American Heart Association, about 24 percent of U.S. men and 18 percent of U.S. women are smokers.

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