more deaths than expected among Italians. Blame it on smoking – WWN

more deaths than expected among Italians.  Blame it on smoking – WWN

Of Vera Martinella

Worrying data also for alcohol consumption and sedentary lifestyle. Thus the cases of different types of cancer are increasing. Bad habits are also widespread among girls

Once upon a time, not so long ago, there was the rule that Lung cancer was a male disease, a real rarity among women. The reason is obvious: in approximately 85% of cases this neoplasm develops in those who (or have been) tobacco users. And for decades smoking was the preserve of men. Unfortunately, however, gender equality in this situation has not only been achieved, but even surpassed: in Italy, female smokers have been increasing for years, while smokers have been decreasing. At the same time, the number of cases of lung cancer that mortality, which instead descends among men.

More deaths among Italians

This is confirmed by the photograph taken in volume The numbers of cancer in Italy 2023with an entire chapter dedicated to the lives saved thanks to the progress made in prevention, early diagnosis and the arrival of new therapies. The most striking negative data concerns mortality from lung cancer — he comments Massimo Di Maio, president-elect of the Italian Association of Medical Oncology (Aiom) —. In men, 36.6% of cancer deaths avoided in the period 2007-2019 linked to the progress made in the fight against smoking, as well as to improved diagnostic-therapeutic-care practices. In women, with equal opportunities for diagnosis and treatment, it has been documented an “excess” of 16,036 deaths from lung cancer, 16% more than expected. A picture that reflects gender diversity in the spread of the habit of smoking over time and which suggests the opportunity to vigorously push forward the fight against smokingbecause success would have significant consequences for the health of citizens and for the sustainability of the entire health service.

Stop smoking

Overall, they were estimated in 2023 44 thousand new diagnoses of lung cancer, 30 thousand in men and 14 thousand in women, while the deaths were 35,700 (23,600 in males and 12,100 in females). Despite notable progress in therapies, this neoplasm remains difficult to fight because more than 70% of patients are diagnosed late, when the disease is already in an advanced stage and the chances of recovery are unfortunately reduced – explains Di Maio -. The neoplasm, in fact, does not give obvious signs of its presence at the beginning and when it does it is generally already present progressed to the metastatic stage. For the early diagnosis of lung cancer, the RISP program will be active in our country from 2022free and aimed at women and men between 55 and 75 years old, current heavy smokers or former smokers for less than 15 years. If discovering a carcinoma in the early stage can save your life (the smaller the nodule, the more minimally invasive and radical surgery can be, with a high chance of definitive recovery), it is equally crucial to provide a support to help smokers quit: very few Italians resort to drugs useful for de-addiction and also those who turn to expert personnel who can create an identikit of the smoker and support him in his decision to say enough. But statistics indicate that if you ask for help the chances of succeeding increase.

Not just lungs

Female deaths are also rising due to another type of cancer closely linked to smoking, smoking bladder, the fifth most widespread in the Italian population. What if breast cancer has always been the most frequent in the female sex, what worries the experts is the fact that almost 56 thousand new cases per yearmore than one in ten can be linked to consumption excessive drinking of alcoholic beverages, but few women are aware of this. The share rises if more incorrect behavior is considered overall — remember Saverio Cinieri, president of the Aiom Foundation —: almost a quarter of breast cancer cases (23%) are caused by avoidable risk factors, such as smoking, overweight, alcohol and sedentary lifestyle. These behaviors increase the probability of developing many other cancers (liver, mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus and colorectumjust to name a few) and serious diseases, such as cardiovascular, metabolic and neurodegenerative diseases. The toxicity of alcohol is greater in womenwhose organism is characterized by a lower production of the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), which determines a reduced ability to metabolise ethanol – adds Cinieri, who is director of the Medical Oncology and Breast Unit of the Perrino Hospital in Brindisi —. And the probability of developing a neoplasm increases exponentially when alcohol is associated with other risk factors, which enhance its harmful effects, such as tobacco.


34% of Italians then sedentary (compared to 25% of males), 26.8% in overweight (obesity is slightly more frequent among men: 11% versus 10% among women), 16.3% smokes (25% of men) and 8.7% consumes alcohol in quantities that are risky for your health. They make the situation even worse statistics on the youngest and very youngwho unfortunately in our country drink and smoke a lot, as much as their peers, often even more – he says Di Maio, director of Medical Oncology 1 of the Citt della Salute – Molinette university hospital in Turin —. It is essential to carry out prevention right from school and to teach that over a third of cancers could be avoidable only with healthy lifestyles. According to the data collected for 2023, the most frequent cancers among Italians remain those at breast (55,900 new cases), followed by colorectal-anus (23,700), lung (14,000) ed endometrium (10,200). Early diagnosis saves lives – concludes Cinieri -. “Strange” symptoms (such as breast lumps or vaginal discharge outside the menstrual cycle) should never be overlooked. the checks foreseen according to the various age groupssee your gynecologist regularly, perform breast self-examination and accept theinvitation to screenings: why refuse a life-saving test offered free of charge by the Health Service?.

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December 27, 2023 (modified December 27, 2023 | 07:14)

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