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Cancers Caused By Secondhand Smoke And Their Symptoms


What Is Secondhand Smoke?


Secondhand smoke is the combination of smoke that comes from the burning end of a cigarette, cigar, or pipe and the smoke breath out by the smoke. When a non-smoker is around someone smoking, they breathe in secondhand smoke, in which out of about 250 harmful chemicals it releases, 50 are carcinogens. A person’s body can react to it differently depending on the intensity and frequency of exposure.

In the U.S, secondhand smoking causes 73,000 deaths from lung diseases and 34,000 deaths from heart diseases every year. It has a range of carcinogens that increase the non-smoker’s chances of developing cancer by 20-30%. Your risk of getting different types of cancer increases when you're exposed to these at home, office or any other public places.


Cancers Caused By Secondhand Smoke



Lung Cancer


Lung cancer is a life threating one. In this type of cancer, there is an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in one or both lungs, which after rapid division form tumors, affecting the overall performance of the lungs.

Its symptoms include:
  1. A cough that doesn’t subside even after two weeks
  2. Constant wheezing
  3. Chest pain
  4. Pain in the bones
  5. Unexplained weight loss
  6. Hoarse voice
  7. Blood stained sputum or mucus


Bladder Cancer


Results of studies showed that secondhand cigarette smoke may contribute to bladder carcinogens.
  1. The symptoms of bladder cancer are:
  2. Frequent urination even during the nights
  3. Feeling the urge to urinate, but not being able to pass urine
  4. Pain or burning sensation during urination
  5. Lower back pain on only one side of the body


Throat Cancer


Throat cancer is a rare one and is classified as pharyngeal and laryngeal cancers. Men are more likely to be affected by it.

Its symptoms include:
  1. A sore throat that does not go away
  2. Breathing trouble
  3. Constant coughing
  4. Ear pain
  5. Weight loss
  6. Trouble and pain when swallowing
  7. A lump or mass in the neck


Breast Cancer


According to studies, a woman constantly exposed to secondhand smoking at home or at the workplace has an increased risk of developing breast cancer because breast tissues are more sensitive to the carcinogens produced in secondhand smoke prior to first pregnancy. However, no elevated risks have been shown in post-menopausal women.

Its symptoms include:
  1. More than usual tenderness in breasts
  2. The appearance of lumps in the breasts and underarms
  3. Unexplained change in the appearance of nipples and breasts
  4. Swelling or shrinking of breasts

Second-hand smoking, known as passive smoking, also causes brain, stomach, and rectal cancer in adults. However, its effect is not as profound as compared in other organs. Furthermore, it manifolds the risk of brain tumors, leukemia, lymphoma, and liver cancer in children.


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