• Question: if you dont smoke noncorrectly can it give you tounge canser

    Asked by jasmin123 to Amy, Drew, Sara on 23 Jun 2011.
    • Photo: Drew Rae

      Drew Rae answered on 23 Jun 2011:


      Hi Jasmin. Don’t believe any rumours – there is no safe way to smoke. The only certain risks that raise your chance of mouth cancer (tongue, tips, throat) are smoking, tobacco chewing, and heavy drinking.
      The risk comes from the chemicals in the smoke and alcohol – no matter how you are smoking you are exposed to this risk .

      If you are worried about cancer, the other thing you can do is to eat well. Eat won’t take away the risk from smoking or drinking, but poor diet probably (they aren’t totally sure, but is true for other cancers) makes your chance of mouth cancer worse.

    • Photo: Amy MacQueen

      Amy MacQueen answered on 23 Jun 2011:


      Hey Jasmin, Thanks for the question – I think I gave you a brief answer in the chat today?

      Your tongue has two parts – the oral tongue (which is the bit you stick out at people) and the base of the tongue which is very near your throat. You can get cancers on both parts of the tongue (although they are generally given different names). The cancers that you find in the tongue are however most commonly “squamous cell carcinomas”. Squamous cells are the flat, skin-like cells that cover the inside lining of your mouth, nose and throat. Squamous cell carcinoma is the name given to a cancer that starts in these cells.

      Nobody knows the direct causes of these cancers yet but they DO know that smoking and drinking a lot are DEFINITE risk factors…so it doesn’t depend on whether you smoke “right” or not. Smoking at all will make the risk of you getting mouth cancer much higher. The best idea (and not just for cancer reasons!) is not to smoke at all! Smoking costs lots of money, ruins your overall health, increases your cancer risk, affects the baby if you are pregnant, makes you smell and is just a bit unsociable now that its banned in public places. Really its just not very cool to smoke at all! However smoking is really addictive and so it is hard to stop – most smokers will tell you if you ask them that they wish they had never started!! If you (or someone you know) already smoke and want to stop but are finding it hard there is a lot of help out there – some pharmacies give out free patches to help you and you can get a “quit kit” here http://smokefree.nhs.uk/?&gclid=CLXi1LPhzKkCFYpB4QodXEi5Ng

      If you are worried about cancer and want to learn more check out this question we already answered! 🙂

      is itb easy to get cancer?

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