The negative effect of cigarette smoking on your health

Dangers of smoking
Dangers of smoking

There’s no way around it. Smoking is bad for your health. Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body.
Your smoke is also bad for other people, they breathe in your smoke second-hand and can get many of the same problems as smokers.
Cigarette contains more than 7000 chemicals, of which at least 250 are known to be harmful. Of the harmful substances, at least 69 are known to cause cancer.
Consequently, the harmful effects cannot be over-emphasized. Below are some ways smoking affect health;

How does smoking result in death?
Cigarette smoking increases risk for death from all causes in men and women.
Smoking causes about 90% (or 9 out of 10) of all lung cancer deaths in men and women.

How does smoking affect my heart and blood vessels?
The chemicals in tobacco smoke harm your blood vessels and affect the function of the heart. This damage increases the risk for;
1. Atherosclerosis: a disease in which a waxy substance called plaque builds up in your arteries
2. Aneurysms: which are bulging blood vessels that can burst and cause death
3. Coronary artery disease (CHD), narrow or blocked arteries around the heart
4. Heart attack and damage to your arteries
5. Heart-related chest pain
6. High blood pressure
7. Coronary Heart disease: A condition in which platelets (components of the blood that prevents excessive bleeding) stick together along with proteins to form clots which can then get stuck in the plaque in the walls of arteries of the heart and cause heart attack
8. Peripheral arterial disease (PAD), a condition in which plaque builds up in the arteries that carry blood to the head and limbs.
9.Stroke: which is sudden death of brain cells caused by blood clots or bleeding. Smoking increases the risk for stroke.

How does smoking affect my lungs and breathing?
Every cigarette you smoke damages your breathing and scars your lungs. Smoking causes;
1. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): a disease that gets worse over time and causes wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and other symptoms. About 80% of deaths from COPD are caused by smoking.
2. Emphysema: a condition in which the walls between the air sacs in your lungs lose their ability to stretch and shrink back. Your lung tissue is destroyed, making it difficult or impossible to breathe.
3. Chronic bronchitis: which causes swelling of the lining of your bronchial tubes. When this happens, less air flows to and from your lungs.
4. Pneumonia
5. Asthma. Also, people with asthma can suffer severe attacks when around cigarette smoke.

How does smoking affect my vision?

Smoking is as bad for your eyes as it is for the rest of your body. It results in the following;
1. Age-related macular degeneration (damage to a small part close to the retina involved in vision)
2. Cataract: which is clouding of the eyes’ lens making it difficult for you to see,
3. Optic nerve damage
All of the above can lead to blindness.

How does smoking affect my bones?
Smoking reduces the density of the bones.
Smoking increases your risk for osteoporosis, a condition in which bones weaken and become more likely to fracture.

How does smoking affect my teeth?
Smoking can cause tooth loss. It can also cause gum problems.

How does smoking cause infertility and birth problems?
Smoking can make it harder for a woman to become pregnant and can affect her baby’s health before and after birth. Smoking increases risks for;
Ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the womb)
Preterm (early) delivery
Stillbirth (death of the baby before birth)
Low birth weight
Sudden infant death syndrome (known as SIDS or crib death)
Smoking can also affect men’s sperm, which can reduce fertility and also increase risks for birth defects and miscarriage.

How does smoking cause cancer?
Smoking can cause cancer almost anywhere in your body;
Blood (acute myeloid leukaemia)
Colon and rectum (colorectal)
Kidney and ureter
Oropharynx (includes parts of the throat, tongue, soft palate, and the tonsils)
Trachea, bronchus, and lung
Smoking also increases the risk of dying from cancer and other diseases in cancer patients and survivors.
If nobody smoked, one of every three cancer deaths would not happen.

Smoking and auto immune diseases
The immune system is the body’s way of protecting itself from infection and disease. Smoking compromises the immune system, making smokers more susceptible to infections.
Smoking doubles your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. Smoking has recently been linked to type 2 diabetes.

Why you should quit smoking?
Your risk of developing the diseases listed will be reduced or will be the same as with non-smokers.

What you Need to Know About Prostate Cancer

What you need to know about prostate cancer
What you need to know about prostate cancer

Cancers generally start when the cells in the body grow in an uncontrollable fashion. Cells in nearly any part of the body can become cancerous and spread to other body areas. We can therefore say prostate cancer begins when cells of the prostate grows uncontrollably. Briefly let’s discuss some basic anatomy.

Anatomy of the Prostate

Only in males will you find a prostate gland.
It is usually described as a gland, the size of a walnut in younger men, however it can be much larger in older men.
It is located right below the urinary bladder and in front of the rectum. A portion of the urethra, which is the conduit for urine, pass through the prostate and this relationship is noteworthy, as symptoms of prostate diseases are usually due to this anatomical relationship when the prostate enlarges.

What are the Risk factors?
1. Age: commoner in elderly men, mean age at diagnosis is 65years.
2. Ethnicity: commonest among Blacks and least common among Asians.
3. Family History: your risk of having prostate cancer is increased if a close relative i.e a brother or father has it.
4. Lifestyle: Smoking, obesity increases the risk.
5. Hormones: insulin like growth factor (IGF-1) has been linked.
There might be things you might have heard off but are not included in this list probably because of insufficient evidence to back it up.

How does it Manifest?

At the moment, majority of prostate cancers are identified in patients who are asymptomatic. In such cases, it could be due to abnormalities in a screening prostate specific antigen(PSA) which is a hormone secreted by the prostate or findings on digital rectal examination (DRE). It is important to note that symptoms of localized prostate cancer can also be caused by benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) another prostate pathology that causes enlarged prostate.
Symptoms of localized disease includes; difficulty passing urine, passing urine more often (frequency), getting up in the night to void more than normal(nocturia), straining to urinate, poor urinary stream, blood in urine(hematuria), blood in semen(hematospermia). Most of these symptoms are due to the relationship of the prostate to the bladder, remember the anatomy we discussed earlier. In advanced disease, there may be anemia, weight loss, it has a strong predilection for spreading to the bones which causes bone pain with or without pathological fracture.

How is Prostate Cancer Diagnosed?
Now this is where it gets interesting and a bit confusing and the reason is as we mentioned earlier that prostate cancer suspicion can arise due to an abnormal DRE or PSA level but just as DRE is examiner dependent and less than reliable, so also, an abnormal PSA level is not diagnostic because BPH and prostatitis can lead to a rise in PSA level.
When PSA testing was first developed, the upper limit of normal was thought to be 4ng/ml. However, subsequent studies have shown that no PSA level guarantees the absence of prostate cancer, cancer can be detected even at a PSA of 1ng/ml if a biopsy is performed. Although, as the PSA level increases, so does the risk of this disease.
If you are still following at this point, the next question will be how then is prostate cancer truly diagnosed? Simply you need a prostate biopsy! Although MRI scan can also detect abnormal areas of the prostate. Prostate biopsy is done under ultrasound guidance (TRUS). Complications that may arise from prostate biopsy includes fever, pain, hematuria, hematospermia.

Treatment Options
It is important to know all the various treatment options available, the pros and cons. You should have a lengthy discussion with your doctor and possibly get a second opinion.
Some of the things to consider will include;
⦁ The stage and grade of your cancer
⦁ Your age at diagnosis and life span
⦁ Any other serious health conditions you have
⦁ Your feelings about getting treated right away together with your doctor’s opinion on that
⦁ Is the treatment likely to cure the disease
⦁ Your feelings about the possible side effects of treatment

Depending on the situation, treatment options of prostate cancer includes:
⦁ Active surveillance or watchful waiting
⦁ Surgery
⦁ Radiation therapy
⦁ Cryotherapy
⦁ Hormone therapy
⦁ Chemotherapy
⦁ Bone directed treatment
These treatments can be used one at a time or in various combinations.

Dr. Aransiola S.A
Kwara State,Nigeria