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Novel Approaches in Cancer Study

Is Smoking a Risk Factor of Breast Cancer?

  • Open or CloseGuan Z1, Cheuk IW1, Shin VY1 and Kwong A1,2,3*

    1 Department of Surgery, Hong Kong

    2 Department of Surgery, Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospital, Hong Kong

    3 Hong Kong Hereditary Breast Cancer Family Registry, Hong Kong

    *Corresponding author: Ava Kwong, Chief of Breast Surgery Division, The University of Hong Kong Chairman, Queen Mary Hospital, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong

Submission: March 26, 2019; Published: April 09, 2019

DOI: 10.31031/NACS.2019.02.000540

Volume2 Issue3


The incidence of breast cancer is increasing worldwide, making it the most common cancer among women. The etiology of breast cancer is multifactorial, including genetic risk factors, family history, age, gender, ethnicity, dense breast tissue and life-style related risk factors. Cigarette smoking is one of the risk factors in many cancers and recently been shown to be associated with breast cancer. The relationship between cigarette smoking and breast cancer has been explored in vitro and in vivo. One of the important components of cigarette smoke, 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK), a representative carcinogen of N-nitrosamines, has also gained focus in breast cancer carcinogenesis. Other than promoting tumor growth in cancer cells, NNK has also been proved to cause malignant transformation in normal breast cells. However, clinical association of NNK and breast cells is still limited, and there are controversies that warrant further explorations.

Keywords: Breast cancer; Risk factor; Smoking; 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK)

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