It’s no secret that smoking is a terrible habit that wreaks havoc on your health. The chemicals and toxins that are inhaled from just one cigarette course through the body and affect nearly every cell, system, and organ. Over time, these chemicals and toxins build up and contribute to a variety of health problems. Smoking increases your risk of sudden death, cardiovascular disease, and a number of urologic conditions. In this article, we’ll cover urologic conditions impacted by smoking. If you’re currently a smoker and are having trouble quitting, talk to your doctor today about forming a smoking cessation plan that will work for you. Even though it seems hard, it is possible to quit now and take back your health.
Smoking contributes to the development of many cancers, as we’ll come to learn in this article. Bladder cancer happens when the cells in your bladder start to mutate and replicate, forming growths and attributing to a range of urologic side effects. Bladder cancer represents roughly 5% of new cancer cases each year and becomes more common as you age.
Kidney cancer is in the top ten most common cancers for both men and women.1 Smoking increases your risk for developing kidney cancer as the smoke inhalation eventually ends up in the bloodstream. From here, the blood gets carried into the kidneys for filtration. When the chemicals in the blood are filtered out, they get stuck in the kidneys and strain the body.1 overtime, the build-up of these chemicals can lead to cancer. Your risk for developing kidney cancer greatly decreases when you quit smoking, so talk to your doctor today if you need help.
Some people are plagued by kidney stones commonly throughout their life and others will never get them. They’re fairly common and are often small enough to pass without any medical intervention. However, in certain cases, kidney stones can get very large and require surgery or other treatments to break the stones down. This can be a very painful process and many people who have had a kidney stone will do everything they can to avoid experiencing that again.
Another common urologic condition that is impacted by smoking is the overactive bladder. Overactive bladder is a situation where you feel like you have to use the bathroom frequently, regardless of if you’re bladder is actually full or not.