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Bad news for smokers: A new study revealed that smokers are still at an increased risk of developing cancer even if they have quit a few years back. What’s worse is that smokers are exposed to three types of cancer. In addition to lung cancer, smoking can lead to stomach and throat cancers.

Dr. Eva Negri and her colleagues from the Mario Negri Institute of Pharmacological Research in Milan, Italy found that current smokers are twice as likely to develop gastric cardia—a type of cancer that is usually situated above the stomach, near the esophagus. In addition, the researchers found that the risk of cancer in the throat or esophagus remained high even if people already had quit smoking as long as three decades earlier.

“Stopping smoking is highly beneficial at any age, but it appears that for these cancers the risk decreases only slowly,” Dr. Negri revealed.

The researchers gathered the results of 33 prior studies and discovered that current smokers had double the risk hazards compared to people who never smoked.

Although it would seem that quitting smoking can be beneficial to one’s health, Dr. Negri and her colleagues announced that former smokers are still at a 62 percent higher risk of developing cancer compared to nonsmokers.

The American Cancer Society disclosed the odds of developing esophageal cancer at 1 in 200. On the other hand, there is a 1 in 114 chance of developing stomach cancer.

With these statistics, Dr. Negri and her colleagues offer another reason to quit smoking as early as possible—or not to start smoking in the first place.

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