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Smoking Increases Risk of Cancers of the Blood, Immune System, and Bone Marrow in Women

Findings add to existing evidence of smoking’s adverse effects

The study showed that the risks of Hodgkin’s lymphoma and some bone marrow cancers were doubled in women who smoked about 20 cigarettes a day. The risks of other types of blood cancer were also increased among smokers, but to a lesser extent.

The study, published in the British Journal of Cancer, looked at 1.3 million middle-aged women from the Million Women study, funded by Cancer Research UK and the Medical Research Council.

Over a 10-year period, 9,000 women in the study developed leukemia, a cancer of the immune system or of the bone marrow. Over the same 10 years, six in every 1,000 women who never smoked developed one of these cancers, whereas the number was almost eight in every 1,000 for smokers.

The results add to existing evidence of the effect smoking has on Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and sheds new light on the link between smoking and other types of lymphoma, leukemia, and cancers of the bone marrow.

For more information, visit the Cancer Research UK Web site.

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