A new study, conducted in Leon, but representing the whole of Spain, shows how the number of tobacco-related tumors has increased markedly over the past decades.
Analyzing the data available between 1997 and 2014, researchers found that the increase in the number of cancer-related cases of smoking is more pronounced among women.
In recent decades, tumors associated with tobacco use have increased markedly. The study, which covers the period from 1997 to 2014 and includes 7103 cases in Leon, shows that this increase is particularly noticeable among womenThe figures are similar to those of the rest of the Spanish population and indicate the importance of this preventable risk factor.
In the first three-year study period, from 1997 to 1999, the incidence rate per 100,000 men was 116.4 cases. For the last decade in which this work was included, from 2012 to 2014 it reached 228. The figures for the female population are lower, but the growth is more pronounced. In the late 1990s, there were 19.8 cases per 100,000 women, compared to 44.5 in the last three years, more than doubled.
Researchers estimate that 59% of cancer cases analyzed can be attributed directly to tobacco.
"75% of the tumors analyzed correspond to lung cancer and bladder cancer, but there are many others, such as the lip, tongue, gums, mouth, oropharynx, nasopharynx, hypopharynx, nostrils and larynx, among others," explains Lidia Garcia Martinez, from the Institute of Biomedicine (IBIOMED) University of Leon.
According to the data published in the journal, the total number of cases of the disease per year increases very much – from just over 300 in 1997 to about 500 in 2014. Family medicine Spanish Society of Primary Care Physicians (SEMERGEN). "According to our estimates, 59% can be directly related to snuff, with about 170 people dying each year in Leon's health care sector," the expert says.
Among the most striking research data is also a significant increase recorded among women, from about 30 cases in 1997 to about 80 in 2014. "This is mainly due to the increase in the prevalence of smoking among women, which began in previous decades and was supported today," warns Lydia Garcia.
High probability in some municipalities
Within the province there are some geographical differences that are determined by the habit of smoking. That is why the analysis includes the concept of relative risks, that is, how much more likely is it that a person will suffer from cancer (in this case, tobacco-related) in a given municipality. The study shows that in Villaladangos del Paramo and in Valencia de Don Juan the probability of suffering from the analyzed tumors is three and four times higher than the average for the studied area.
“The detected geographical differences show the need for the use of preventive strategies adapted to local conditions that reduce the prevalence of smoking and avoid the inclusion of young people,” he says.
The data from this study may be helpful in the face of prophylaxis. In general, “the idea that we want to convey is extremely clear: every year more than seven million people die from tobacco in the world, and this can be avoided if you do not use it,” says researcher IBIOMED.
To do this, “first of all, you need to know that we are facing a public health problem that can be completely avoided, reducing the number of new smokers, increasing the price of tobacco and complicating access to them, and helping to quit smoking.”
75% of the tumors analyzed correspond to lung and bladder cancer
The numbers recorded in León correspond to data from all over Spain, presented by other authors, especially in terms of the incidence of lung and bladder cancer, which in recent years has clearly increased in both sexes.
However, there are some peculiarities in this area of health. For example, the incidence of laryngeal cancer in women is one of the highest in Spain, about one case per 100,000 population. In the case of men, they represent rates of 14.6 per 100,000, a value similar to the rest of the communities.
“This heterogeneous distribution of tumors in our area was not observed, since previous studies of lung and bladder cancers do not give a noticeable geographical difference, which appears when all tumors associated with tobacco are included,” the expert notes.
The same team had previously studied the main tumors that are registered in Leone: colon, stomach, breast, prostate and bladder cancer. From now on, in the next research work, they can extend the study period of many of them or continue to explore other relevant tumors.
Morbidity, trends and municipal spread of tobacco-related tumors in Leon's health care: 1997-2014 L. García-Martinez, V. Davila Batista, L. Estevez Iglesias, C. González Donquilles, A. De la Gera Magallanes, A. H. Molina de la Torre. Family Medicine-SEMERGEN. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.semerg.2018.09.008