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Bladder cancer, a silent evil caused by smoking

 Guadalajara (Mexico), .- The habitual consumption of snuff can cause cancer of the bladder and urinary tract, a silent condition and that is usually diagnosed in advanced stages, said Friday to Efe the oncologist José Job Lagunes.

In the framework of the World No Tobacco Day commemorated on May 31, the doctor of the Old Civil Hospital of Guadalajara (western Mexico) said that cigarette smoke is not only in the respiratory system but affects almost all organs of the body, including those of the urinary system.

“The products that are inhaled do not remain in the air tract, but go to the whole system.There are substances that condition mutations of the molecule in the DNA chain and that have particularly tropism (reaction to external stimuli) for the cells of the bladder, “he explained.

In this way the particles emitted with tobacco smoke enter the urinary system and can cause bladder cancer, but also generate cancer cells in some organs and structures such as the urinary collecting system, the renal pelvis, the ureters and the kidney, added .

According to the Spanish Association Against Cancer this condition in the bladder occupies the fifth place in frequency among different types of cancer in developed countries with approximately 357,000 new cases a year worldwide, of which 274,000 correspond to the male population and 83,000 women.

Lagunes said that although this disease is not as common as lung or throat cancer, the diagnosis comes late because patients initially have no symptoms easily detectable and is detected in very advanced stages, with little chance of survival.

“It is a very spectacular cancer from the point of view of the symptoms given that the patient arrives with red or bloody urine, but the tumor is usually in advanced scenarios, besides it is also commonly detected in elderly patients,” he said.

Comorbidities complicate treatment in this type of patients since they usually also suffer from diabetes, hypertension or cardiovascular diseases, or have a history of myocardial infarctions, ruling out the feasibility of surgery to remove the cancer.

Although there are other risk factors to develop this condition such as repeated urinary infections, irritations in the urinary tract, the development of stones or stones, smoking is the main cause, although it will also depend on the genetic factors of people who are exposed to smoke .

According to statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO), there are a billion smokers in the world and 7 million people die from tobacco each year. The consumption of cigarettes is the second cause of cardiovascular diseases, after high blood pressure.

Exposure to tobacco smoke for both the smoker and the people around him contribute to about 17% of deaths from heart disease because it contains more than 4,000 chemical products, of which at least 250 are known to be harmful and more than 50 cause cancer.

The doctor Antonio Rojas, a specialist in Pulmonary Physiology at the Old Civil Hospital of Guadalajara, told Efe that the cigar emits toxic substances that are less than four microns in length, so they can pass to the respiratory tract without the need to inhale them directly.

He recalled that after a person smokes in a closed place it can take between 5 and 6 hours for the harmful substances to be dispersed, so that anyone who enters or stays in the place can inhale them and become a second-hand smoker.

“Second-hand smokers, formerly called passive smokers, are inhaling the same substances as the person who smokes.” We can see in the husbands or companions of smokers that their lung function is sometimes affected at the same level as their partner because they have been exposed for so long. to smoke, “he said.

In an environment of smokers children are the most affected, because they suffer from respiratory diseases more frequently because their lung capacity decreases and their lungs are not yet well formed.

The doctors invited the population to avoid the use of tobacco in closed spaces and to seek professional help to gradually eradicate their addiction to cigarettes with the intention of preventing diseases related to this habit. (EFE)

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