Tumors associated with tobacco use have increased significantly in recent years in the healthcare sector of León (Spain). A study covering from 1997 to 2014 and covering 7,103 cases reveals that this increase is particularly pronounced among women. The data are similar to those of the rest of the Spanish population and indicate the importance of this risk factor that can be avoided.
In the first three-year period, from 1997 to 1999, the incidence rate per 100,000 males was 116.4 cases. In the last decade involving this work, from 2012 to 2014, it reached 228, with almost doubling. The numbers among the female population are lower, but the increase is more pronounced. By the end of 1990 there were 19.8 cases per 100,000 women, while in the last three years 44.5 was analyzed, more than double.
"75% of the tumors analyzed correspond to lung and bladder cancer, but there are many more, such as lips, tongue, gum, mouth, orofarinks, nasopharynx, hypopharynx, nostrils, and throat," explains DiCYT Lidia García Martínez of the Research Group for Interaction gen-environment and health, Institute of Biomedicine (IBIOMED) of the University of León.
An increase in the total number of cases each year is very pronounced, with slightly over 300 in 1997 to about 500 in 2014, according to data published in the Spanish Medical Society of Primary Health Care (SEMERGEN). , "We estimate that 59% could be attributed directly to the bumblebee, and about 170 deaths each year in the León health area," says an expert.
Among the most notable studies in the study, there was a large increase among women, with about 30 cases in 1997 to about 80 in 2014. "This is mainly due to an increase in the frequency of smokers started in the past decades and held in the present," warns Lidia García.
Within the province there are some geographic differences that are determined by smoking habit. That's why the analysis involves the concept of "relative risks", ie how much more likely a person in a particular municipality will suffer from cancer (in this case smoking-related). In this case, the study shows that in the Villadangos del Páramo and Valencian de Don Juan the likelihood of disease of the tumors analyzed three to four times the average for the León health area.
A Map of Relative Risks by León Municipalities. (Picture: U. de León / CIBERESP / DICYT)
"Geographic differences found show the need to apply local strategies adapted to prevent prevalence of smokers and avoid the involvement of young people," he says.
In this regard, all data from this research can be useful with regard to prevention. In general, "the message we want to launch is very clear, which every year smoking kills more than seven million people worldwide, deadly cases that can be avoided by not consuming," says IBIOMED researcher.
For that, "the first thing to know is to face the public health problem that can be avoided, reduce the number of new smokers by increasing tobacco prices and preventing its availability, and helping smokers stop smoking."
The figures recorded in León are in line with those across Spain, which have been contributed by other authors, particularly with regard to the incidence of lung cancer and bladder cancer, which has clearly increased in both sexes in recent years. However, there are some peculiarities in this area of health as well. For example, the rates of throat blisters in women are among the highest in Spain, about one case per 100,000 inhabitants. In the case of men, they represent rates of 14.6 to 100.000, which is a value similar to the rest of the community.
"This heterogeneous tumor distribution is not observed in our area, as previous research on lung cancer and bladder did not get a significant geographical difference that occurs when all tobacco related tumors are involved," the expert said.
The same team had previously studied the major tumors that were registered in León: colon, stomach, breast, prostate and bladder cancer. From now on, in the following research work they could extend the trial period of many of them or continue studying other relevant tumors. (Source: José Pichel Andrés / DICYT)