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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Quit smoking. X-ray showed clear. Why do people die after quitting smoking?

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Dr. Shashi Dangwal

Pulmonologist

Practicing since :1979

Answered : 1126 Questions

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Posted on Fri, 11 Jan 2013 in Lung and Chest disorders
Question: I quit smoking after 10 years. I was 1 pack per day for 5 years and half of pack for the other 5 years. I quit smoking because it just made me fill sick. I am 35 and I smoked since I was 25 years old. Right now I am scared because I read and heard allot of stories about people that quit smoking and then they died (lung cancer). I was so scared that I took lung x-ray scan. The doctor told me that everything is ok Can you please explain why so many people die after they quit smoking ? Or maybe I am just missed informed. I would appreciate as much detail as possible explaining this issue .
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Answered by Dr. Shashi Dangwal 6 hours later
Hi XXXXXXX,

I read your query with a lot of inerest and it made me sad because of misinformation you are harbouring. Let me tell you that you have done a very wise thing by quitting smoking in time.

Cigarrete smoke contains a large number of carcinigens. Both active and passive smoking is bad. Passive smoking is when you inhale the surrounding smoke of a smoker who is smoking in close vicinity. A large no of cancers are attributed to smoking, commonest being lung cancer. Many other cancers are also common in smokers.

There are other ailments caused by smoke. COPD is another dreaded disease which makes a person short of breath and if progressive makes day to day activities almost impossible. Heart attacks are more common in smokers. Smoking also increases the cholesterol level in the blood. It also causes peripheral vascular disease where in there is excruciating pain on walking and may even lead to gangerene of the toes.

These are just a few diseases caused by smoking. The list is longer.The risk increases with the number of cigarettes smoked and the number of years smoked. This is not to scare you but to reassure you that by quitting smoking you have considerably reduced your risk for these various disease. It`s definitely not true that by quitting one may get cancer but may be the cancer had already formed in the body but became manifest later.

I hope i`ve been able to allay your anxiety to some extent.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Shashi Dangwal 4 hours later
thank you so much for your reply. I have had a x XXXXXXX chest scan and everything was ok. Is that enough to say that I do not have cancer ? Or is there any other test that I should do ?
Looking forward for your reply
doctor
Answered by Dr. Shashi Dangwal 1 hour later
Hi,

From your clinical profile,there does`nt seem to be any evidence of cancer at present but to say that dogmatically is not possible because we do not know what is having at molecular level in the cells. If you are so concerned, you may go in for a PET scan but in my opinion that`s really not needed. Relax and carry on with your life.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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