Quitting smoking always reduces the risk of lung cancer, but very slowly · Health and Science

Quitting smoking always reduces the risk of lung cancer, but very slowly · Health and Science

Where does this news come from?

There is controversy about the benefit of lung cancer screening, in both Belgium and the Netherlands. Lung cancer screening can save the lives of people over 60 who have smoked heavily for years: One can daily for at least 35 years. This is clear from research.

Lung cancer is usually discovered too late and has a high mortality rate. By hardcore smokers and ex-smokers CT scan every two years To submit, can Lung cancer is detected more quickly become and Increased chances of survival.

According to Carline van der Aalst, coordinator of the Dutch study, people over the age of 60 who smoke heavily “have already suffered so much harm that they Stopping is actually too late To prevent lung cancer (1). This statement also inspired the title of the article latest news: 10,000 people die from lung cancer every year. This can reduce that number (not quitting smoking).

Bron

(1) Van Galen, E. 10,000 people die from lung cancer every year. This can reduce that number (not quitting smoking). HLN. April 9, 2024.

How should you interpret this news?

Much has been published about the effect of smoking cessation on the risk of lung cancer. It is clear from this that Stopping smoking does not immediately reduce your risk of lung cancer to zero. And more, The longer and more often you smoke, the risk gradually decreases.

One study compared the risk of lung cancer in two groups (2):

  • 27,101 participants aged 55 to 74 years who had smoked one pack daily for at least 30 years;
  • 69,182 people of the same age had never smoked.
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The risk of developing lung cancer among former smokers compared to non-smokers was 30.8 times greater in the first five years after they stopped smoking. 30 years after stopping smoking, it was still 6.4 times larger. So the risk decreases, but slowly.

Quitting smoking always makes sense. Not only for the risk of lung cancer, but also for cardiovascular and other types of cancer.

Screening has advantages and disadvantages

Lung cancer screening can be beneficial in hard-core (former) smokers, but it also has major drawbacks, according to a new report from the Federal Healthcare Knowledge Center. There is a very good chance of this happening Suspicious spots It is noted that after further investigation it does not appear to be lung cancer (3).

Conclusion

It's not too late to quit smoking. The risk of developing lung cancer is always reduced, and the risk of developing a number of other conditions is also reduced. Therefore, we consider the statement that quitting smoking no longer has any effect to be incorrect. But: Anyone who smokes heavily, say a pack a day for at least 30 years, will still be at increased risk of developing lung cancer for many years after quitting.

References

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