Question: Am I at Risk for Lung Cancer?
I smoked for 20 years and quit smoking 6 months ago. What are the chances I'll get lung cancer in the future?
According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer continues to be the biggest cancer killer of both men and women in the United States, with over 80% of cases attributable to cigarette smoking. Lung cancer causes 1 out of every 3 cancer deaths in men (31%), and about 1 in 4 cancer deaths among women (27%).
Risk factors for lung cancer depend on several things:
- the age when smoking began
- how long you smoked
- the amount you smoked
- how deeply you inhaled
If you are a former smoker, the chances you'll contract lung cancer may be higher than that of someone who has never smoked, but by quitting, you've done the best thing possible to improve your odds. Statistics tell us that the risk of developing lung cancer for current smokers is 10% to 15%. As a former smoker, your risk drops more with every smoke free year you complete. Take a look at After the Last Cigarette
to get a view into how your body begins to heal when you quit smoking.
While none of us can know what the future will bring, it's important not to let worry destroy the quality of life we have today
. If you've recently quit smoking and you're concerned about what the years of smoking have done to your lungs, consider this: by quitting, you've lowered your risk of getting a wide variety of smoking-related illnesses, including lung cancer. With every smoke free day you complete, you're helping your body to recover and halt further damage. For many people, smoke free days turn into years of robust health and improved longevity.