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How Can Smoking Affect Your Lungs

Smoking is harmful for the body

Smoking is very easy to get addicted to, causes harm to various parts of the body, but is very difficult to give up. Probably this is the reason that cigarettes are referred to as cancer sticks that reach and cause harm to each part of the body. It has been found that smoking cause about 4000 harmful chemicals, out of which about 50 are well known to cause cancer; it is shocking to note that smoking increases the risk to about 15 different cancers. A recent research has brought out the statistics that by 2015, we would find that about 2.1 million cases of cancer each year will be attributable to smoking tobacco. In addition the American Cancer Society has published its findings that states that about 169800 women died of cancer in 2009 with most dying either of lung or bronchus cancer.

Your lips, mouth, nose, sinuses, throat, and larynx are the most affected as they are exposed to smoke as you inhale and exhale smoke and when you cough to bring out the mucus that is trapped in the lungs. So it is found to be safe to have screening of oral cancer done during dental check-ups.

And best to consult your doctor when certain symptoms like a persistent earache on one side, a red-and-white or red sore or a painless patch of discolored tissue anywhere inside your mouth, a painless hard lump under your jaw, followed by any alteration in your voice, or difficulty chewing or swallowing that doesn’t heal for over 2 weeks.

Next smoking tobacco exposes the tissue lining your esophagus, stomach and entire gastrointestinal tract to toxic chemicals that moves into your blood stream and digestive system. This is the reason that more than 60% of the smokers are at a risk to develop stomach cancer than non-smokers. In addition your kidneys, bladder and pancreas could also be affected, with cigarette smoking leading to urothelial cancer that generally affects your kidney and its connected orgns and the bladder.
It is also true that toxins from smoking tobacco gets accumulated in cervical mucus from the blood stream and aggravates the action of human papilloma virus, that is responsible for cervical cancer. This is the reason why female smokers are subject to cervical cancer, and it is found that female smokers that are not 30 are less at risk to develop human papilloma virus antibodies than those that do not smoke. Smoking similarly increases the risk of getting leukemia, with smoking increasing the rate of recovery and survival among acute leukemia patients.

It is true that inhaled tobacco smoke affects the lungs the most, with the risk of developing lung cancer being 13 times higher in female smokers as compared to non-smokers.

How can smoking affect your lungs

The most adverse affect of smoking on the lungs is that it affects the effective intake of oxygen. As you know oxygen is essential for the very important function of respiration. When we breathe in and out the lungs expand and contract as air fills in and is released. But when you smoke, air and smoke are pumped in at the same time. This affects the cilia, the tiny hairs in the lungs that do the work of filtering out particles of dust and other foreign material.

It is found that the clogging of the cilia reduces its capacity to filter dirt and other harmful chemicals in the cigarette smoke. This leads to its being deposited and accumulating in the linings of the lungs or alveoli. It is to be realized that a clogged alveoli hampers the effective exchange of oxygen and carbon-di-oxide that ultimately leads to shortage of oxygen supply to the heart.

It is again important to note that if you smoke the lungs lose their effectiveness to expand and contract normally, with tar being the main culprit. When the lungs does not expand and contract normally during inhaling and exhaling, these tissues could also get rigid with excessive smoking and lose their characteristic of elasticity over time. When the lungs remain expanded for a very long time it becomes difficult to exhale leading to a condition that is known as emphysema.

It is again important to note that cigarettes contain cancer causing substances that could lead to a film like deposit called tar inside the lungs. This build-up of tar continuously could lead to cell degeneration that leads to break-up of cells inside the lungs that could lead to lung cancer. It could also lead to smoker’s hack that is characterized with coughing violently and spitting out of phlegm.

It is again important to note that clogging of mucus that is caused by cigarette tar sticking to the tiny hairs along the nasal and throat passage is what causes smoker cough that is the attempt of the body to forcibly release the clogged mucus off impurities and other harmful chemicals.

Lastly it is important to realize that nicotine is an addictive substance found in cigarette and other tobacco products that hampers all parts of the body. The harm done by constricting of blood vessels could take a toll on the heart too. The heart needs to pump harder throughout life to provide the lungs and all parts of the body with oxygenated blood.


Diseases of the Lungs – Cancer and Pneumonia

Cancer of the Lung is a most important disease after the age of fifty. Much more common in men than in women, its occurrence rate is increasing faster than any other kind of cancer. The cause remains unknown but tremendous evidence points to tobacco’s guilt, although automobile exhaust fumes and other gases are also strongly suspected. Cancer in the lung often begins with an innocent cough which may be dry or productive of blood streaked sputum. The possible, noticeable difficulties are wheezing, pain in the chest, hoarseness and weight loss, all indicating the possible presence of a serious disease.

The diagnosis of lung cancer is made with an x-ray of the chest, and often aided by other kinds of examination to more accurately pinpoint this disease. Effective treatment of any lung cancer demands early detection, best done by the routine physical examination, including a chest x-ray each year by a competent physician.

Pneumonia. This is an infection and inflammation of the lung itself. The two types are the commonly seen virus pneumonia and the more serious bacterial pneumonia. Virus pneumonia, not necessarily associated with any bacteria, is a mild lung infection and just about everyone contracting it eventually recovers. The disease is often considered a deepseated cold, accompanied by dry, hacking cough, a moderate temperature and great fatigue. Many physicians treat virus pneumonia with rest, diet, aspirin compounds and occasionally antibiotics. Without a chest x-ray, this diagnosis is difficult to make, and is sometimes entirely overlooked. Happily however, nearly all patients eventually recover from virus pneumonia anyway.

In the more serious bacterial pneumonia infection, the lung tissue becomes solid with bacteria, pus, blood and swollen lung tissue. The symptoms produced are high fever, severe pleurisy pains in the chest and considerable coughing, productive eventually of a bloody or rust-colored sputum. Treatment of bacterial pneumonia requires x-ray diagnosis, considerable supportive treatment, such as adequate fluids, rest, and usually powerful antibiotics.

Pneumonia was once a deadly disease but now it succumbs readily to effective antibiotics in the hands of the physician. Though treatment is now effective, this disease should never be taken lightly, as it still brings about many deaths each year and readily causes significant and permanent body damage.

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