2004-04-15 22:26:59 UTC
Unfortunately, that cannot be said about Goan and Indian men. The
incidence of smoking in the USA is declining in all population groups
except young girls. That has stimulated a scientific article in this
week's Journal of American Medical Association where the authors call
lung cancer in American WOMEN a Contemporary Epidemic.
The paper reports a 600% rise in lung cancer in women from 1930 to 1997.
Lung Cancer accounts for more cancer deaths that breast and
gynecological cancer-deaths combined. Lung cancer is the most common
cancer death in all countries. Among Goans like everyone else it takes a
toll just as the individuals are at the peak of their careers or ready
to retire (age 45-60).
Many but not all studies have shown that women are more susceptible than
men to the cancer-causing effects of cigarette smoke. What is
universally accepted is that lung cancer in women also tends to be
biologically more aggressive than the lung cancer in men.
Rather than go into all the genetic, hormonal and DNA molecular reasons
for the above differences, the take home message are efforts to reduce
the incidence of smoking by quitting and not starting the habit. For
third world countries the message is for women not to follow their
counter-parts in Europe and Middle East where more and more women are
becoming addicted to tobacco. In the US and recently in Ireland smoking
in public places is banned because of the known (bad) effects of
second-hand smoke. In addition to causing several types of cancers,
smoking increases the risks for heart attacks, emphysema and COPD.
For those who smoke, the main ingredient to quit the habit is a personal
desire to do so. There are many aids to beat that addiction including
nicotine gum, medications and other measures including hypnosis. The
quit-rate in a program offered at our hospital is 80% for those who
participate in the three-session program. It CAN BE DONE by those who
desire to win!