Tobacco smoke is a toxic mixture of more than 7,000 chemicals and poison. At least 70 chemicals and poisons in cigarettes are known to cause cancer in human or animal.
Living in Indonesia with a high number of smokers causes this matter to be vital to discuss.
Although warnings about the dangers of smoking are already written on billboards even on the cigarette packs, this is not stopping people to smoke and enjoy cigarettes every day.
Although smoking can cause various types of cancer in general, lung cancer occurs most often in many smokers during their old age.
Therefore, stopping smoking as early as possible is a way to minimize the risk of getting cancer, especially lung cancer.
Smoking Causes Lung Cancer
People who smoke are 15 to 30 times more likely to get lung cancer and die from lung cancer than people who don’t smoke.
Even smoking a few cigarettes a day or smoking occasionally increases the risk of lung cancer. The longer a person smokes and the more cigarettes they smoked each day, the greater the risk.
People who stop smoking have a lower risk of lung cancer compared to people who continue to smoke. Yet still, their risk is higher than the risk of a person who never smoke. Quitting smoking at any age can reduce the risk of lung cancer.
Smoking can cause cancer in almost all parts of the body. Smoke causes cancer of the mouth and throat, esophagus, stomach, large intestine, rectum, liver, pancreas, voice box (larynx), trachea, bronchus, kidney and pelvis kidney, bladder, urinary and cervical, and causes acute myeloid leukaemia.
Most statistical data look at lung cancer risk in general, combining people who smoke and who never smoked. Based on statistics in the United States, a person’s lifetime risk of developing lung cancer is 6.4 percent or slightly bigger than one out of every 15 people.
Obviously, this number will be higher for those who smoke and lower for
those who have not smoked at all.
We have very little research that has broken down
these figures into categories of smokers, ex-smokers, and current smokers. Nonetheless, a 2006 research in Europe conclude that the risk of affected by lung cancer are:
- 0.2 percent for men who have never smoked; 0.4 percent for women
- 5.5 percent of former male smokers; 2.6 percent in women
- 15.9 percent of current male smokers; 9.5 percent for women
- 24.4 percent for male “heavy smokers”, defined as smoking more than five
stems per day; 18.5 percent for women
Risk of Lung Cancer in People Who Smoke
It seems that the earlier you start smoking, the higher your risk of getting lung cancer. Your risk also depends on the number of packs of cigarettes you consume per year.
One year package is a number calculated by multiplying the number of years with the number of packs of cigarettes smoked every day.
As an example, a 68-year-old man who smoked two packs per day for 50 years (100 packs-years) has a 15 percent risk of developing lung cancer
in the next 10 years if he continues to smoke. This risk will drop to 10.8 percent if he stops smoking.
You may also be wondering how to reduce the risk without quitting smoking. In one study, it was found that people who smoke more than 15 cigarettes per day can significantly reduce their risk if they consume only half of their usual amount of cigarettes they spend every day.
Other studies are less positive about the reduction approach and suggest that stopping is absolutely necessary for a significant risk difference.
If you smoke, you might feel discouraged. Maybe it helps to see this statistic from a different angle. Instead of worrying about your lung cancer risk, you might instead focus on the fact that 10 years after you stop, your risk is only half of what is now.
It’s never too late to stop. Even for those who have cancer, quitting smoking can make a difference. You might be interested to check these reasons for stopping smoking after a cancer diagnosis.