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Medical Consequences of Drug Abuse


Picture of cancer

J. H. is a neck breather and lives in fear of drowning in the shower. Due to throat cancer, she has lost her larynx (voice box) and has to breathe through a hole in her throat called a stoma. She started smoking when she was 12-14 years old and had her surgery about 30 years ago. Her physical problems include greatly reduced ability to smell, the stoma, and the need to speak with an artificial larynx. She looked in a mirror after her surgery and thought, "I look like the bride of Frankenstein." She said, "I felt so ugly."

Source: art.unt.edu
Photo © Scott Camazine

Cigarette smoking is the most preventable cause of cancer in the U.S. Smoking cigarettes has been linked to cancer of the mouth, neck, stomach, and lung, among others.

Drugs that may cause cancer:

This page was last updated December 2012

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