Non-Melanoma Skin Cancers Linked to Smoking

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Free News Press – Women who smoked cigarettes are more likely to have non-melanoma skin cancers than women who did not smoke, according to a new study published in the journal Cancer Causes Control.

The study, which included 698 participants, found a relationship between smoking and basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinomas (SCC). Participants were asked about their smoking behavior and years smoked.

The Moffitt’s Lifetime Screening and Prevention Center and the University of South Florida’s Dermatology and Family Medicine Clinics then subdivided the groups according to gender.

“Among men, positive associations with smoking of equal magnitude were observed for BCC and SCC, although none of the associations were statistically significant,” said Dana E. Rollison, Ph.D., study lead author and an associate member in the Moffitt Department of Cancer Epidemiology.

“However, among women, smoking was not associated with BCC, while highly statistically significant associations were observed with SCC. Women with SCC were almost four times more likely than controls to have smoked for 20 or more years.” The authors of the study speculate that women smokers have been shown to have more active CYP enzyme activity in the lung, where CYP is responsible for metabolizing 70-80 percent of nicotine. In addition, the up-regulation of CYP by estrogen may play a role. They also have higher levels of DNA adducts and lower levels of DNA repair in the lung as compared to men.

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