A Norwegian study has found that women smokers are over twice as likely to suffer from bowel cancer as men. Women who smoke have a 19% increase in their risk of this disease whereas the increased risk in men is only 9%. The risk is also shown to be higher for those who start smoking before the age of 16 and who have smoked for many years but does not seem to relate to the amount the individuals smoke.
It has already been established that women smokers have an increased risk of heart attack over their male counterparts. The reason for women being more vulnerable to the health risks than men is not known but it is thought that they may be biologically more vulnerable.
Trefine Maynard, a clinical negligence solicitor at Ashton KCJ, says: ”Smoking has long been known to carry huge health risks. It is linked to 14 different kinds of cancer and to a number of other serious health risks including heart problems. Cardiovascular disease is currently the leading cause of death in woman in the Western world and cancer rates seem to be ever increasing. Despite the fact that smoking rates are decreasing, more men than women seem to be giving up smoking.
We frequently have clients affected by the effects of cancer or heart disease either on themselves or members of their family. Many think that treatment given to them by health professionals has been poor, often because of a delay in diagnosis or poor delivery of treatment. Sadly even when their concerns are proved valid, all too often it is not possible to prove, in the context of a possible legal claim, that the failures could or would have changed the eventual outcome. Although sometimes a successful legal case can be brought, it can never put right the distress and devastation caused by the chronic illness or death of a loved family member.
It would be far better if these illnesses could be avoided in the first place. This new research stresses the increased risk to women in particular but that should not obscure the seriousness of the risk to all smokers. The increased understanding of the risks to health is interesting but underlying this is the message that smoking carries huge health risks not only to the smoker but also to the ‘passive’ smokers around them”.