Making one change will drop your risk of lung cancer by 39 percent

Making one change will drop your risk of lung cancer by 39 percent

Study after study has shown that smokers have a lot to gain by kicking the habit, including better sleep, improved mental health, lower risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and a healthier heart and brain, to name a few.

Now, research published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute offers smokers one more reason to put down their packs for good: Smokers who kick the habit can see their risk of lung cancer drop by 39 percent in just five years.

For the study, experts analyzed the smoking habits and health of more than 8,900 people over the span of 25 to 34 years. The results showed former heavy smokers who quit smoking not only saw their risk of lung cancer drop significantly but also that the risk continued to fall year after year.

While this certainly offers hope and motivation to current and former smokers, the researchers cautioned that former smokers still have lung cancer risk that is three times higher than nonsmokers, even 25 years after quitting.

Dr. Axel Joob, a cardiothoracic surgeon at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago, says the study should serve as inspiration to everyone, no matter their smoking status.

“The key message here is that there is no better time to stop smoking than right now,” Dr. Joob says. “I encourage current and former smokers to speak to their doctor about smoking cessation programs and, if appropriate, undergo screening for early detection of lung cancer.”

To learn more about lung screenings or to find out if you are eligible for them, click here.

Our Lung Health Assessment will help you identify your risk factors and determine whether a lung cancer evaluation is right for you.

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One Comment

  1. Dr. Joob is right. If you’re still smoking, you need to quit. If you stopped, you still need to be tested. Thanks to early detection, I’m still here, enjoying life!

    Lung cancer is fatal because there are no symptoms until you have one foot in the grave. That’s why early testing can save your life….Do it! The test takes 10 minutes, and insurance will pay for it! So— talk to your doctor and make an appointment! ❤️

About the Author

Jaimie Oh
Jaimie Oh

Jaimie Oh, health enews contributor, is regional manager of public affairs and marketing at Advocate Health Care. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia and has nearly a decade of experience working in publishing, strategic communications and marketing. Outside of work, Jaimie trains for marathons with the goal of running 50 races before she turns 50 years old.