Did you know one cigarette contains over 4,000 chemicals and 50 cancer-causing toxins? Cigarettes and tobacco expose the cells in your body to unstable molecules that can damage DNA, causing mutations. These cellular changes make you more susceptible to stroke, heart disease, emphysema, aneurysms and many types of cancer.
If you are a smoker, consider quitting alongside thousands of Americans on November 15th during the Great American Smokeout, supported by the American Cancer Society. This nationwide initiative began over 40 years ago and remains one of the most successful smoking cessation programs.
Quitting smoking can greatly decrease your risk of colon cancer, the third-leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Each year, an estimated 150,000 Americans are diagnosed with colon cancer with 50,000 people dying from the disease. Research shows people who smoke are at equal risk for colon cancer as those with a first-degree relative with the disease. While you can’t control family history or age, you can alter habits like cutting out cigarettes, limiting alcohol, improving your diet, and getting regular colonoscopies.
By celebrating the Great American Smokeout and creating a plan to quit smoking, you’ll be making a commitment to your overall health. While you’re at it, why not make sure you’re up to date on all health screenings? Most adults who are at average risk for colon cancer should begin screening at age 50, but certain risk factors may necessitate earlier testing. Is it time for you to schedule your colonoscopy? If so, I encourage you to contact my office. For your convenience, you can request an appointment here.