Health bosses back bid to cut smoking deaths in South Tyneside

Health bosses are backing efforts to warn smokers that they are risking contracting 16 different kinds of cancer because of their habit.

Wednesday, 19th June 2019, 3:45 pm
Updated Wednesday, 19th June 2019, 5:45 pm
Melanie Robertson, cancer lead clinician for South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust

South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust and NHS South Tyneside and Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Groups are backing a new campaign which is raising awareness of the links between smoking and certain types of cancer.

The key message is that ‘Smoking causes 16 cancers. If one doesn’t kill you…it could change your life. Quitting is the one clear way to reduce your risk’.

The 16 cancers are lung, bladder, mouth, nasal cavities, pharynx and larynx, stomach, kidney, bowel, liver, pancreas, cervix, and ovaries, oesophagus and ureter, and myeloid leukaemia.

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While there are many other causes of cancer, smoking greatly increase the chances of itr developing – and this can be at a relatively young age – the 40s and 50s.

Melanie Robertson, cancer lead clinician for South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, said: “More than one in four cancer deaths are caused by smoking.

“Most of us know about the link between smoking and lung cancer but fewer people are aware that smoking causes 15 other types of cancer. For every death caused by smoking, approximately 20 smokers are suffering from a smoking-related disease.

“Every cigarette pumps thousands of harmful chemicals into your lungs which spread around your body. Many of these are known to damage DNA – including genes that protect us against cancer.

“These chemicals also interfere with the body’s ability to repair damaged DNA, making it even more likely that damaged cells will eventually turn cancerous.”

Dr Matthew Walmsley, a local GP and chairman of NHS South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The good news is that there is plenty of support to help you quit – and you are much more likely to succeed with support and stop smoking aids.”

Over the three-year period between 2015 to 2017 around 17,650 people died as a result of smoking in the North East.