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ARTICLE |

The Prevalence and Causes of Colonic Cancer

Ronald M. Davis, MD
JAMA. 1986;255(17):2295. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03370170058031.
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To the Editor.—  Ehrlich and co-workers1 documented the presence of asbestos fibers in the malignant tissue of an asbestos worker with adenocarcinoma of the colon. This strongly suggests a causative role of asbestos in a neoplastic process distant from the original site of exposure (respiratory tract). The most likely mechanism would seem to be the coughing up and swallowing of mucus (or saliva) laden with asbestos fibers. This finding also offers a theoretical basis for the epidemiologic association between cigarette smoking and gastrointestinal tract disease.A number of studies have shown that cigarette smoking is significantly associated with the incidence of and mortality from peptic ulcer disease. There is also suggestive evidence that smoking retards the healing of peptic ulcers. Based on experimental and clinical studies, various effects of smoking on gastric, pancreatic, and duodenal physiology have been suggested as mechanisms by which smoking may cause these disorders.2,3

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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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