Medically Reviewed by Karim Tazi, MD
The connection between smoking and lung cancer has long been confirmed. McLeod Medical Oncologist Dr. Karim Tazi explains the importance of stopping smoking if you want to reduce your risk and the lung cancer risks of your family.
Prevention is probably the most important form of fighting cancer. One form of prevention is to not smoke. Lung cancer is extremely rare in someone who has never smoked. And, smoking cessation is probably the most effective way to substantially decrease lung cancer-related deaths in those who have smoked.
In the U.S. and worldwide, the number 1 cause of cancer-related death is from lung cancer. If it were not for smoking, lung cancer would probably be only number 5, 6 or 7 on the list. The number 1 cause of cancer death in men is lung cancer and in women it is also lung cancer, not breast cancer.
For a patient who has been smoking, the risk of lung cancer decreases steadily once they stop smoking. When a person has stopped smoking for 10 years, the risk of lung cancer is only slightly higher than a person who has never smoked.
In addition, people who live with a smoker have a higher rate of lung cancer than those who live with a nonsmoker. This makes it more important for smokers to think about quitting, both for themselves and for their family members.
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