Smoking and colorectal cancer risk: data from the Melbourne Colorectal Cancer Study and brief review of literature

Int J Cancer. 1992 Feb 1;50(3):369-72. doi: 10.1002/ijc.2910500307.


Lifetime smoking data were obtained from 715 colorectal cancer cases and 727 age/sex matched community controls as one part of a large, comprehensive, population-based study of colorectal cancer aetiology and survival in Melbourne, Australia, The Melbourne Colorectal Cancer Study. Statistically significant associations were found for those males smoking handrolled cigarettes and for cigar-/pipe-smoking males with colon cancer. Review of 18 previous case control studies of colorectal cancer showed an elevated risk for cigar-smoking black males in one study, a statistically non-significant increased risk for current smokers in one of 3 cohort studies and a statistically significant elevation of risk for smokers in 2 of 3 studies of adenomatous large-bowel polyps. Although at present there is insufficient evidence to link smoking with large-bowel cancer, the possibility that ingested tobacco is in some way carcinogenic for the colorectal mucosa may be worth further study.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / epidemiology*
  • Australia
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Plants, Toxic
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking*
  • Social Class
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tobacco