HealthDay News — About half of deaths in the United States caused by certain cancers — including lung, colorectum, and pancreatic tumors — can be attributed to smoking, a new American Cancer Society study published in JAMA Internal Medicine suggests.
After looking at 12 cancers known to be caused by smoking, Rebecca L. Siegel, MPH, of the American Cancer Society, and colleagues found that 345,962 people died from these types of cancer. The researchers also had data on current and former smoking, and found that 167,805 of these deaths were due to tobacco.
For some cancers, the researchers said smoking was responsible for more than half of the deaths. Almost 126,000 of the deaths attributed to smoking were from cancers of the lungs, bronchus, and trachea. That is 80.2% of deaths from those cancers linked to smoking, according to the study.
Just under 3,000 deaths from cancer of the larynx were tied to smoking, which is 76.6% of the deaths that occurred in 2012 from that type of cancer, the researchers said. In addition, approximately half of the deaths from cancers of the oral cavity, esophagus, and urinary bladder were due to tobacco use. Smoking was also cited as the cause of many deaths from cancer of the colorectum, kidney, liver, pancreas, stomach, and cervix, and from myeloid leukemia.
“Despite large declines in smoking in the United States over the last 50 years, smoking still accounts for the majority of lung cancer deaths,” Siegel told HealthDay. “While we have made a lot of progress in tobacco control, there is still a lot to do,” she said.