Skip to content

Colorectal Cancer Health Center

Font Size

Add Cancer of Colon and Rectum to List of Cigarette Crimes


Chao and colleagues looked for a possible link between cigarette smoking and colorectal cancers among nearly 800,000 men and women who were among the participants in the Cancer Prevention Study II, a nationwide study of cancer deaths begun by the ACS in 1982.

"These [data] are adjusted for a number of other factors, because colorectal cancer has multiple factors related to the cause of it," Chao tells WebMD. "We tried to adjust for a number of them, including education, family history, exercise, whether they use aspirin or multivitamins, whether they drink alcohol, intake of foods like vegetables, grains, and fatty meats, and also estrogen replacement therapy. After adjustment, the estimates that we observed with smoking didn't go away, and in fact in former-smoking women it became stronger."

Although the association between smoking and colorectal cancer is not nearly as strong as that between smoking and lung cancer, there is evidence that cancer-causing substances in tobacco damage the lining of the colon and that the risk may be greater among people with a genetic predisposition to colorectal cancer, the authors say.


Today on WebMD

Colorectal cancer cells
The right diagnosis is the most important factor.
man with a doctor
Our health check will steer you in the right direction.
sauteed cherry tomatoes
Fight cancer one plate at a time.
bladder cancer x-ray
Do you know the warning signs?
Colon vs Rectal Cancer
New Colorectal Treatments
can lack of sleep affect your immune system
Cancer Facts Quiz
Virtual Colonoscopy
Picture of the Colon
Vitamin D

WebMD Special Sections