smoking-women.jpg Smoking is known to cause serious health problems including lung cancer. But till now it was not associated with breast cancer. However, now, a Canadian panel of experts has reiterated new studies suggest that smoking increases the risk of breast cancer. This panel was convened by the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit at the University of Toronto and financed by the Public Health Agency of Canada, included five Canadian breast cancer and public health experts and five experts from the United States, and was led by the research director of Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada, an anti smoking organization.

Highlights of the panel’s reports
a. The panel did not try to quantify how many excess breast cancers are caused by exposure to smoke.
b. But they did say that exposure to secondhand smoke during young age may increase the risk of breast cancer later in life.
c. They also said that secondhand smoke contributed to premenopausal breast cancer.
d. But, there is no evidence that it increased the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer.
e. The panel based their report on several new studies that suggest that women who start to smoke at an young age increase their risk of breast cancer by 20 per cent and that many years of heavy smoking increase risk up to 30 per cent.
f. This conclusion was reached after the panelists’ reviewed the evidence, which focused on newer studies that did a better job of distinguishing women who had been exposed to smoke.
g. The report also makes recommendations for further research.
h. However, epidemiologists are divided on the issue.
i. Many critics are of the view that all the evidence was still not in.

Canadian Expert Panel on Tobacco Smoke and Breast Cancer Risk - View Report