(HealthDay News) — Female smokers seem to be more susceptible to colon cancer than male smokers, particularly to proximal colon cancer, according to a study published online April 30 in Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.
Ranjan Parajuli, from the University of Tromsø in Norway, and colleagues followed 602,242 Norwegians, aged 19 to 67 years at enrollment in 1972 to 2003, through December 2007 to examine the susceptibility of women and men to smoking-attributed colon cancer.
During a mean follow-up of 14 years, the researchers found that 3,998 individuals developed colon cancer, of which 46% were women. Compared with never smokers, female ever-smokers had a significant, 19% increased risk of colon cancer and males had an 8% increased risk. Compared with never smokers, female ever-smokers in the most exposed category of smoking initiation, daily cigarette consumption, smoking duration, and pack-years of smoking had more than a 20% significantly increased risk of colon cancer overall and had more than a 40% significantly increased risk for proximal colon cancer.
“In conclusion, our results provide further evidence that smoking plays a role in the etiology of colon cancer in both sexes,” the authors write. “Female smokers may be more susceptible to colon cancer and especially proximal colon cancer than male smokers.”