Smoking and Cancer

Piedmont Augusta Cancer Services
1350 Walton Way

Smoking is a risk factor for many types of cancer, including lung cancer. Quitting smoking now greatly reduces your risk of cancer and other diseases. 

Facts about Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States, killing more people than breast, colon and prostate cancer combined.

  • Survival rates for lung cancer have been only 12-15 percent.
  • 1.6 times more women die from lung cancer than breast cancer each year.
  • The disease causes no symptoms in its early stages.
  • Tumors picked up by routine chest X-rays are generally so advanced, treatment cannot do much to prolong a patient's life.
  • Almost 85 percent of lung cancer is discovered at a late stage after it has begun to spread.
  • Detected in stage 1, lung cancer can usually be removed surgically without the need for chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy treatment.

Stop Smoking Now

When you stop smoking, you immediately begin to reap the benefits of a new healthy lifestyle. According to the American Cancer Society, these are the changes that take place in your body when you stop smoking:

Within 20 Minutes

  • Blood pressure drops to normal.
  • Pulse rate drops to normal.
  • Body temperature of feet and hands increases to normal.

After Eight Hours

  • Carbon monoxide level in blood drops to normal.
  • Oxygen level in blood increases to normal.

After 24 Hours

  • Chance of heart attack decreases.

After 48 Hours

  • Nerve endings start regrowing.
  • Ability to smell and taste is enhanced.

After 72 Hours

  • Bronchial tubes relax, making breathing easier.
  • Lung capacity increases.

Within Two Weeks to Three Months

  • Circulation improves.
  • Walking becomes easier.
  • Lung function increases up to 30 percent.

Within One to Nine Months

  • Coughing, sinus congestion, fatigue and shortness of breath decrease.
  • Cilia regrow in lungs, increasing the ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs and reduce infection.
  • Body's overall energy level increases.