April 20th, 2011
08:45 AM ET
How quickly does lung cancer develop for smokers?
Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Wednesdays, it's Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society.
I started smoking socially in high school and still do. How long would it take for someone like me develop lung cancer?
Asked by Tom of Cleveland
There have been several questions about smoking recently. I thought your question really important. In answer to it, there is no such thing as a safe amount of cigarette smoking. I urge you to quit. Studies show that it is far easier for a light smoker to quit than someone who smokes a pack and a half or more per day.
Also keep in mind there is no such thing as a safer cigarette. The risk of lung cancer does increase with both the number of cigarettes smoked per day and the number of years a person has smoked. A 35-year-old male who smokes fewer than 25 cigarettes per day is estimated to have a 9% lifetime chance of dying of lung cancer, whereas 25 cigarettes per day or more gives him an 18% lifetime chance of dying of lung cancer. There are some estimates that lifetime risk of lung cancer in a very heavy smoker is about 30% overall, whereas it is 1% or less in nonsmokers. This translates into about a third of very heavy smokers developing lung cancer. Also, 15 to 20 of every 100 patients who have lung cancer are lifelong nonsmokers. Some get it because of secondhand smoke and some get it for unknown reasons.
People who start smoking at younger ages are at higher risk later in life. Lung cancer rates begin increasing in the mid to late 40s and peak in the late 70s. Many people think low tar or filtered cigarettes are safer. The truth is most people will compensate for these cigarettes by inhaling deeper and/or smoking more cigarettes in order to satisfy their need for nicotine.
While you ask about lung cancer, it is important to remember that occasional cigarette use can increase risk of cardiovascular disease dramatically. This is very pertinent, because cigarette smoking kills more people from cardiovascular diseases (heart attack, stroke and peripheral vascular disease) than all cancers combined. It is a common observation that a town that makes smoking in public illegal lowers it heart attack rate within six months. This is primarily because the decrease in secondhand smoke exposure decreases the number of heart attacks in nonsmokers. Just think about the dose of smoke to even a casual smoker over six months compared to a nonsmoker exposed to occasional secondhand smoke.
Cigarette smoking is linked to a number of diseases. Lung cancer is most famously associated, but tobacco smoking causes cancers of the head and neck (mouth, throat, sinuses), esophagus, stomach, kidney, pancreas, bladder, uterine cervix and even certain types of leukemia. Fourteen different cancers in all are caused by smoking. Smoking also causes chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, such as bronchitis and emphysema. It worsens asthma. Smoking is linked to high blood pressure, ulcers, osteoporosis, diabetes and reproductive disorders such as infertility, miscarriage and premature menopause.
There are significant benefits to smoking cessation. Most tobacco-related disease can be prevented if one stops smoking by age 40. Even for older people and for those with tobacco-related disease, there is significant benefit to smoking cessation. Short-term, cessation causes cravings, irritability, insomnia, anxiety, depression, difficulty concentrating and restlessness. Some may have a worsening of the smoker's cough. Long term, many complain of weight gain and increased depression.
Someone who is thinking of quitting should seek counseling from a physician or other experienced health care professional. Nicotine gum, nicotine patches and some other medications can be very helpful with smoking cessation. Counseling through telephone quit lines and internet support groups can also be helpful.
About this blog
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.
chloroquine vs chloroquine phosphate https://chloroquineorigin.com/ malaria drug chloroquine
otc viagra alternatives https://gensitecil.com/ – do you need a prescription for viagra does viagra work on women
assignment expert essay on how to pay for college analytical chemistry letter where can i buy college essays
levitra bayer https://uslevitraanna.com/ buy levitra 20mg
female cialis online https://asciled.com/ cialis
can you buy viagra over the counter in canada? https://canadaviagrastore.com/ canada pharmacies viagra
canadian customs pills vitamins https://canadapillstorex.com/ canadian pills pharmacy
legit online pharmacy rx online pharmacy prices compare
counterfeit canadian drugs cialis https://canadacialisstore.com/ do you need prescription for canadian perscribition of cialis in usa
online medicine order discount http://canadianeve21.com/ – Cabgolin canada drugs pharmacy
summer camp essay please help essay students and social service business plan service description english coursework help gcse
canadian pharmacy review http://onlinecanda21.com/ best online pharmacies no prescription
cialis 200 mg what is it http://rcialisgl.com/ – cialis dosage recommend generic cialis prices
how many milligrams of cialis can you take in a day ? http://cialisee.com/ – cialis generic cialis online
avanafil dosage buy avanafil uk
dissertation defense service pt essay help doing homework everyday executive resume writing service san diego
is there a female viagra http://jokviagra.com/ viagra overdose
viagra 100mg http://jokviagra.com/ – viagra and adderall liquid viagra
chloroquine phosphate vs chloroquine sulphate https://chloroquineorigin.com/ is chloroquine phosphate the same as hydroxychloroquine
The next time I read a blog, Hopefully it doesn't disappoint me as much as this particular one. After all, Yes, it was my choice to read through, nonetheless I truly believed you would have something helpful to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something you can fix if you were not too busy searching for attention.
Hi there! This post could not be written any better! Looking through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He always kept talking about this. I will send this post to him. Fairly certain he will have a great read. Thanks for sharing!
mexican pharmacy online medications canadian pharcharmy online Amoxil
Altace affordable pharmacy pharmaceutical online ordering
Hi, I do think this is a great blog. I stumbledupon it ūüėČ I'm going to revisit once again since i have book marked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide others.
An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a coworker who has been conducting a little research on this. And he in fact bought me breakfast due to the fact that I found it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending time to discuss this issue here on your site.
dapoxetine 100 mg dapoxetine pills
deva viagra http://llviagra.com/ purchase viagra pills
discuss logical order of presentation in essay i need help on my english essay can someone write my research paper auschwitz homework help
After checking out a handful of the articles on your site, I really appreciate your way of writing a blog. I book marked it to my bookmark webpage list and will be checking back soon. Please check out my website as well and let me know what you think.
I couldn‚Äôt resist commenting. Exceptionally well written!
Greetings! Very helpful advice within this post! It's the little changes that will make the most important changes. Thanks for sharing!
Good blog you've got here.. It‚Äôs hard to find excellent writing like yours these days. I really appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!
Great web site you've got here.. It‚Äôs hard to find high quality writing like yours these days. I seriously appreciate people like you! Take care!!
Hello there! This blog post could not be written much better! Looking through this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He always kept talking about this. I'll forward this post to him. Fairly certain he'll have a great read. I appreciate you for sharing!
cialis professional review https://ucialisdas.com/ generic cialis tadalafil