The link between tobacco and canceris direct, and the disappearance of the first would render some tumours, including lung tumours, uncommon, states Doctor Dick Pasker, pneumology specialist at Hospital Quirónsalud Torrevieja. In addition, according to the World Health Organization, tobacco use is directly related to deadly diseases such as lung and larynx cancer, the ninth cause of death around the world.
Doctor Pasker advises both habitual smokers and former smokers to undergo periodic check-ups. As the pneumologist notes, “when lung cancer is detected in time, and the patient received immediate treatment, the cure sate rises to 92%. Without early diagnosis, most lung cancer patients end up dying. The objective of the check-ups is to detect illnesses related to tobacco use in their early stages, in order to solve the `problem before there’s no chance of a cure.”
Tobacco is linked to over 25 diseases, including respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, as well as different types of cancer; additionally, nicotine is a drug with an addition rate as high as heroin. Among all these diseases that are fundamentally related to tobacco, Doctor Pasker highlights COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). “This disease,” the specialist explains, “is characterised by difficulty getting air into the bronchi, and symptoms such as suffocating while walking or increasing activity level, cough and expectoration increase as the years go by. It is important to detect it in time, because it is an irreversible progressive disease.” The pneumologist added that, “COPD cannot be cured, but there are treatments that can help control its symptoms and improve patients’ quality of life. Forecasts show that this problem will increase. This is why it is so important.”
Know Tobacco’s Risks
According to the specialist, these are some of the health risks of using tobacco:
- The damage caused by tobacco is not restricted to the lungs; the risk of tumours affects all the organs it comes into contact with, especially the mouth, often forgotten, and it is determinant in cardiovascular diseases.
- Cancer is not the only damage tobacco can cause to the lung. Emphysema and COPD are two irreversible processes directly linked to tobacco.
- Tobacco negatively affects male and female fertility, as well as the conception process.
- Women who smoke have higher risk pregnancy, and their babies also suffer negative consequences during the pregnancy and after their birth.
- Children are the most vulnerable of passive smokers, and tobacco is the most determining preventable risk factor in childhood respiratory diseases.
- Smokers sleep less, and their sleep quality is worse.
- The addiction caused by nicotine is the main obstacle in the process of quitting, but once it is overcome, there are immediate visible benefits, such as skin quality.
Quirónsalud is the most important hospital group in Spain, and the third largest in Europe. It is present in 13 autonomous communities, has the most advanced technologies, and offers over 6,500 beds in more than 100 centres, such as the Fundación Jiménez Díaz [Jiménez Díaz Foundation], Hospital Universitario Quirónsalud Madrid, Hospital Universitario Dexeus, Ruber, Centro Médico Teknon, Hospital La Luz, Policlínica de Guipúzcoa, etc., as well as a great team of highly specialised professionals of international prestige.
We work on teaching promotion (seven of our centres are university hospitals), and medical-scientific research (we have the Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria de la FJD [JDF Healthcare Research Centre], the only privateresearch centre with accreditation from the Secretaría de Estado de Investigación, Desarrollo e Innovación [Ministry for Research, Development and Innovation].
Likewise, our assistance service is organised in units and crosscutting networks, which allows us to optimise the accumulated experience of our different centres, and the clinical application of our research. Currently, Quirónsalud is developing many research projects throughout Spain, and many of its centres perform cutting edge work, and are pioneers in different specialisations, including cardiology, endocrinology, gynaecology, neurology, oncology and sports medicine, among others.