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What Are The Chances Of Lung Cancer After A Person Quit Smoking?

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Posted on Thu, 12 Oct 2017
Question: I have a question. I am 29 and smoked for 6 years from 19-24. I quit smoking and lead a healthy life now. I can't help but think tho of the damage I did to my lungs and my chances of lung cancer. what are the chances of me getting lung cancer even if I never smoke again? I know I stopped young but I still smoked half a pack a day for 6 years. what is the avg age for someone who gets ling cancer?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar (2 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Average age of lung cancer is 50-55 years.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your question on Healthcare Magic.
I can understand your concern.
Average age for lung cancer is 50-55 years for smokers and 60-65 years for non smokers.
There is lifetime risk of 0.1% of lung cancer irrespective of smoking habit.
If person is active smoker through out his/her life, risk of lung cancer after the age of 50 years is 1-2 %.
Sincr you have stopped smoking at young age, you are not at increased risk of lung cancer.
Please let me know if you have ever undergone CT thorax or PFT (Pulmonary Function Test).
I will be happy to help you further. Wish you good health. Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar (26 minutes later)
really?! No increased risk? even though I smoked for 6 years? why is that? how come I don't have much higher risk?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar (40 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Only smoking habit is not the sole cause for lung cancer.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your follow up question on Healthcare Magic.
I can understand your concern.
Only lung cancer is not a sole cause for lung cancer.
Age also plays very important role.
In young age, our cells are healthy.
In old age, due to aging process, genetic repair system weakens and if person Still smokes, permanent genetic damage occurred which causes cancer.
In genetically predetermined individuals (family history of cancers especially lung cancer), cigarette smoking even in young age can cause genetic damage and cancer.
So only only smoking, family history and age of patient are also very important.
Please let me know
1. Do you have any family history of lung cancer?
2. Do you have any family history of other cancers?
Please reply me answers of above asked questions, so that I can guide you better. I will be happy to help you further. Wish you good health. Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar (7 minutes later)
I had a grandma who smoked who died of breast cancer in her 70s and continued to smoke. other than that my other grandma and grandpa are in their 70s and healthy. my mom and dad also have no cancer or problems
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar (7 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
No need to worry much for lung cancer risk.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your follow up question on Healthcare Magic.
I can understand your concern.
Well, as such no need to worry much for lung cancer risk.
I forgot to mention about occupation risk.
Certain fumes, chemicals, dust etc at work place can also cause increased risk of lung cancer.
So please let me know
1. Do you work?
2. Do you have any toxic inhalation at work place.
Please reply me answers of above asked questions, so that I can guide you better.
I will be happy to help you further. Wish you good health. Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar (10 minutes later)
I work from home. so you think my risk is the same as a non smoker? I ask bc I saw other things saying it can never return back to the risk of a non smoker
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar (4 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Yes, your risk is almost similar to non smoker.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your follow up question on Healthcare Magic.
I can understand your concern.
So no toxic inhalation exposure in your case. That's good.
Yes, your risk is almost similar to non smoker.
Lung damage caused by smoking is permanent. Lung damage can be either functional or structural.
And for this, you need to get done chest x ray, CT scan and PFT (Pulmonary Function Test).
Please let me know if you had any of these reports.
I will be happy to help you further. Wish you good health. Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Nagamani Ng
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar (16 minutes later)
i have not had these test. Are they worth getting at my age? how would I get them? do I just go to my doctor and ask?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar (6 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
This depends on your symptoms.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your follow up question on Healthcare Magic.
I can understand your concern.
I don't know about system in your country. But you will mostly need doctor's prescription for these tests.
You can go for chest x ray. Chest x ray is simple tool for screening of lungs. No need for CT scan if chest x ray is normal.
Need of PFT is based on your symptoms.
If you are having chronic cough, breathlessness, expectoration then we need to rule out smoking related functional damage to lungs. And for this PFT is must.
So please let me know if you have any of these symptoms.
I will be happy to help you further. Wish you good health. Thanks.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Nagamani Ng
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar (13 minutes later)
I do not have any symptoms. I have not had any symptoms since I stopped smoking and became more active. I'm just in my own head with the stuff. So you think I'm OK and that I have the risk of a non smoker almost ?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar (5 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Yes, it's there in your mind only.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your follow up question on Healthcare Magic.
I can understand your concern.
Yes, it's there in your mind only.
No need to worry much for smoking related lung cancer.
It's good that you have a stopped at early age. It's really commendable.
Please don't start it again.
Maintain good health by proper diet and regular exercise.
Stay healthy and fit.
Don't worry, you won't get lung cancer.
No additional risk for lung cancer.
Hope I have solved your query. If you are not having further queries, then please close the conversation and rate my answer.
You can ask me directly on bit.ly/askdrkaushalbhavsar. Wish you good health. Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana
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Answered by
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Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar

Pulmonologist

Practicing since :2008

Answered : 14937 Questions

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What Are The Chances Of Lung Cancer After A Person Quit Smoking?

Brief Answer: Average age of lung cancer is 50-55 years. Detailed Answer: Thanks for your question on Healthcare Magic. I can understand your concern. Average age for lung cancer is 50-55 years for smokers and 60-65 years for non smokers. There is lifetime risk of 0.1% of lung cancer irrespective of smoking habit. If person is active smoker through out his/her life, risk of lung cancer after the age of 50 years is 1-2 %. Sincr you have stopped smoking at young age, you are not at increased risk of lung cancer. Please let me know if you have ever undergone CT thorax or PFT (Pulmonary Function Test). I will be happy to help you further. Wish you good health. Thanks.