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A Breast Cancer Link to Smoking

I suspect most of you who read my daily blog don't smoke, but probably know a loved one -- perhaps a family member or friend -- who does. According to a pair of news reports in this morning's USA Today, my favorite newspaper in the world, covered the release of a controversial California government report that links the incidence of breast cancer to secondhand smoke.

Although there is concern about the study, a good deal of it, according to the report, is partly the result of the tobacco lobby, just as greedy and clueless about your health as is the mega-billion pharmaceutical "cartel." A bigger concern among the experts is uncertainty about the data. However, the study appears to give much more weight to recent and better studies that have demonstrated such links to breast cancer. California researchers also found links between active smoking and breast cancer too, though not as pronounced as secondhand smoke.

The report found women exposed to secondhand smoke increased their risk of breast cancer anywhere from 26-90 percent. Researchers based the broad range of risk on the short-term contact a woman might have versus being married to a three-pack a day smoker. Scientists also gave more creedence to the toxicology behind smoking. In other words, whether the toxic chemicals emitted from cigarettes when burned cause breast cancer.

If you're still not convinced, consider two important and very popular pieces I've posted on my Web site in recent months:

  • A British study that found a definitive link between lung cancer and passive smoking.
  • A Duke University study that estimated the true cost of smoking -- factoring in health care, a shorter life span and its effect on others -- amounting to nearly $40 a pack.

USA Today March 9, 2005

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