does smoking really cause lung cancer?

  1. does smoking really cause Lung cancer??? forget about other diseases that are being linked to smoking, let us just talk about lung cancer.
    how come only 10 percent of all the people that has lung cancer smoke? what happen to other 90 percent?
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  2. 52 Comments

  3. by   ZASHAGALKA
    There is absolutely no proof that smoking causes cancer.

    That being said, there is an extremely high correlation between smoking and cancer. What does that mean? We can't 'prove' that smoking causes lung cancer, but we can observe that you are much more likely to get lung cancer if you are a smoker.

    Your statistics are off. Far more than 10% of lung cancer patients are smokers or former smokers. I think the number is more like 60% or higher.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
  4. by   Mulan
    Second hand smoke?
  5. by   elkpark
    You've got your numbers backwards -- 85-90% of lung cancer victims ARE smokers (currently or in the past), only 10-15% of lung cancer victims are non-smokers (the numbers vary a little depending on which study you look at).

    As Timothy noted, while there is no definitive proof that "smoking causes cancer," there are impressively high correlations between smoking and a variety of cancers, not just lung cancer (the rate of bladder cancer in smokers is also quite high).
  6. by   cardiacRN2006
    Quote from elkpark
    You've got your numbers backwards -- 85-90% of lung cancer victims ARE smokers (currently or in the past), only 10-15% of lung cancer victims are non-smokers (the numbers vary a little depending on which study you look at).

    As Timothy noted, while there is no definitive proof that "smoking causes cancer," there are impressively high correlations between smoking and a variety of cancers, not just lung cancer (the rate of bladder cancer in smokers is also quite high).
    Yes, we just learned that it was 85% of people with lung CA have a Hx of smoking... I think the other people are either associated with asbestos, coal, or have secondary lung CA.
  7. by   HealthyRN
    There is no proof, meaning that an experiment cannot be conducted to prove that smoking causes lung cancer. This would be unethical and impossible, as you can imagine. Therefore, we can only say that there is a high correlation.
  8. by   caroladybelle
    Quote from cumberland40
    does smoking really cause Lung cancer??? forget about other diseases that are being linked to smoking, let us just talk about lung cancer.
    how come only 10 percent of all the people that has lung cancer smoke? what happen to other 90 percent?
    Please provide a link for that stat as it is incorrect.

    The vast majority patients with primary lung cancer smoke. Barring that, many others have exposure to mining, chemicals, radiation or have histories of breathing disorders that predispose them to the disease.

    In addition, smoking is a significant factor in development of other cancers, such as bladder, pancreatic, head/neck, esophageal, laryngeal, gastric.

    Now ocasionally some pro smoking group will decrease the stats by including as "lung cancer", tumors of a different primary that metastasized to the lungs. But those are not "Lung cancer" as they are from a different primary disease.

    In addition, smoking makes our ability to cure/treat cancer more difficult. The only definitive cure for most cases of lung cancer is a curative resection, with or without chemo/rad. If the patient has already damaged enough lung tissue, this thorough resection cannot be done, and the other treatments will only buy time. In addition, chemo can be cardiotoxic and many smokers have damage to their heart from smoking.
  9. by   Gail-Anne
    With my perverted sense of humor, I'd like to resond that.... the others die of heart disease before the lung cancer can get them. But I'd likely get flamed, so....
    Remember, when you are hearing supposed STATs and other info about whether or not something can be proven, to look at where it comes from. Tobacco companies paid alot of money for studies that could be benificial to them, also they have been proven to sweep info under the rug when it wasn't what they wanted.
    We have all heard, I'm sure, about the occas person who lives to be 102 and smoked since they were 12. Sure, it happens, but that's one out of how many millions?
  10. by   mercyteapot
    http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/co....asp?sitearea=

    http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/sgr/ (900 references here)

    How much proof does one need? Uh, yes, smoking causes cancer. Even if one chooses to ignore all the evidence and rely solely on the correlation, the only logical interpretation is that smoking causes cancer. Even if one chooses to ignore the correlation rates, there is the fact that cigarettes contain something called tar. That alone would make me think twice about smoking. Yes, smoking causes lung cancer.
  11. by   grannynurse FNP student
    Quote from mercyteapot
    http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/co....asp?sitearea=

    http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/sgr/ (900 references here)

    How much proof does one need? Uh, yes, smoking causes cancer. Even if one chooses to ignore all the evidence and rely solely on the correlation, the only logical interpretation is that smoking causes cancer. Even if one chooses to ignore the correlation rates, there is the fact that cigarettes contain something called tar. That alone would make me think twice about smoking. Yes, smoking causes lung cancer.
    Went to the CDC website. Keyed in cancer and smoking. Up poped more then 450 articles. I know smoking causes cancer. My uncle, who smoked 2 1/2 packs a day, die from in, in his late 40s.

    Grannynurse
  12. by   cumberland40
    if you are telling me that there are a lot of evidences that clearly shows smoking can cause cancer, how come I havent heard any tobacco companies getting liable for it? In fact, tobacco companies were sued a lot of times, but no one had ever come close of getting them paid for the damages and deaths that their product supposedly caused
  13. by   DutchgirlRN
    YES smoking causes lung cancer. Have you ever physically seen a smokers lungs? Black, hard and nasty.... not pink, soft and healthy. Smoking also causes COPD, Emphysema and other respiratory disorders. I have never smoked just because I chose not to stink but the more I worked with lung patients the more I realized just how dangerous smoking is and I think why oh why would a health professional ever smoke or at least not stop once educated? I don't have an answer for that.

    Although I don't smoke I do over eat and am overweight which I realize is just as dangerous to my health as smoking only as to a different host of illnesses such as heart disease. I don't have any answer for this either.
  14. by   mercyteapot
    Quote from cumberland40
    if you are telling me that there are a lot of evidences that clearly shows smoking can cause cancer, how come I havent heard any tobacco companies getting liable for it? In fact, tobacco companies were sued a lot of times, but no one had ever come close of getting them paid for the damages and deaths that their product supposedly caused
    Where on earth have you been hiding yourself? Tobacco companies have lost huge lawsuits in the past 5 years or so, and have settled with a number of states.

    http://www.conservativenews.org/InDe...19990210c.html

    http://www.bizjournals.com/wichita/s...8/daily53.html

    http://www.tobacco.org/news/122106.html

    http://www.library.ucsf.edu/tobacco/litigation/msa.pdf


    These are but a few. Should you still be convinced that Big Tobacco hasn't lost any lawsuits, I'd suggest a google search.

    If, as your post implies, this is the "evidence" you're looking for, as opposed to the hundreds of clinical studies and years of research that have already proven that smoking causes cancer, then I guess now you have it. As for me, I wouldn't rely on what juries say, I'd listen to the science.
    Last edit by mercyteapot on Sep 25, '05

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