Tobacco smoking is the leading cause of cancer in Australia. Lung cancer was the first major disease linked to tobacco smoking. There is now evidence that smoking causes 16 types of cancers:
The 16 cancers caused by smoking:
Here’s a list of the 16 cancers you’re at risk of getting if you smoke, and the proportion of cases caused by smoking:
Lung: 4 in 5 lung cancers are due to smoking
Mouth, throat, nose and sinuses: 65% in men and 45% in women, and voice box: 77% of cancers of the voice box
Oesophagus (food pipe): 60% of all cancers of the oesophagus
Stomach: 23% in men and 11% in women
Bowel (colorectal): Around 6% in men and 7% in women
Liver: 24% in men and 11% in women
Pancreas: 23% of cancers of the pancreas
Cervix and ovary: 17% of mucinous ovarian cancers, a common subtype of ovarian cancer among young women. Smoking causes 7% of cancers of the cervix
Bladder, kidney, and ureter: 34% in men and 26% in women
Bone marrow (acute myeloid leukaemia): 16% in men and 4% in women.
By the age of 80 years, it’s estimated that 1 in 2 people who smoke will have been diagnosed with cancer. For more information on the 16 cancers caused by smoking, read our 'Smoking causes 16 cancers' fact sheet.
The good news is, stopping smoking reduces your risk of cancer over time. The earlier you stop smoking, the lower your risk.See how Quit can help you
Graham developed an inoperable tumour on his tongue from smoking. Watch Graham’s story here:
Geoff was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2017
Working as a cartoonist, Geoff used cigarettes as a break between drawing sessions. In 2017, he was diagnosed with lung cancer. Having stopped smoking years earlier dramatically improved his treatment outcomes:
"After many attempts, I finally managed to stop in 2012. I’m so very glad that I did, because there’s a good chance I may not be here to tell my story if I hadn’t."
Read Geoff's story here.