The fear of cancer helps some smokers to get rid of their vice. Quitting smoking is always welcome, but the increased risk of lung cancer does not automatically go away. Even after years, prevention for ex-smokers remains important.
Lung cancer as a late consequence
One of the common late effects of smoking is lung cancer. So if you stay away from cigarettes, you help to reduce your personal cancer risk. But even many years after quitting, former smokers are still at an increased risk of developing lung cancer. Dr. warns of these consequences of tobacco use med. Thomas Voshaar, Chairman of the Association of Pneumological Clinics (VPK) in a message from the dpa news agency.
Cancer risk does not decrease immediately when you stop smoking
"The widespread assumption that the lung cancer risk drops to the level of a never-smoker after so many years and is therefore irrelevant is not correct," said Dr. Voshaar, who is also the chief physician at the Bethanien hospital in Moers. Ex-smokers should therefore be examined for lung cancer after 15 years of stopping smoking, the association recommends. The risk does start to decrease after ten years. But especially those who have smoked a lot for a long time - around 30 years a box - have a high risk of lung cancer even after 15 years of stopping smoking, according to Voshaar.
Smoking favors many diseases
However, health experts know that smokers develop and die not only from lung cancer, but also from other cancers such as pancreatic cancer and colon cancer, cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, arterial diseases such as arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease COPD (smokers) . Quitting smoking is always a good idea. (ad)