OSLO: Cigarettes increase the odds for developing bowl cancer, especially for women, researchers said.

Norwegian researchers looked at the medical records of 600,000 patients and discovered the bowel cancer risk linked to smoking was twice as high in women than men.

Female smokers had a 19% increased risk of the disease while male smokers had a 9% increased risk, Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention reports.

For men and women, the evidence is clear – being a non-smoker means you’re less likely to develop cancer, heart disease, lung disease and many other serious illnesses”

In the study, nearly 4,000 of the participants developed bowel cancer. Women who started smoking when they were 16 or younger and those who had smoked for decades were at substantially increased risk of bowel cancer.

“Women who smoke even 10 or fewer cigarettes a day increase their risks for colon cancer,” said lead researcher Dr. Inger Gram, a professor in the department of community medicine at the University of Tromso in Norway.

“Because colon cancer is such a common disease, even this moderate smoking account for many new cases,” she said. “A lot of colon cancer can be prevented if people don’t smoke — especially women.”
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