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Old 12-11-2003, 12:39 PM   #1
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LL29 HB User
Has smoking caused anyone's lung cancer or ????

Hello everyone,

So sorry to hear of anyone's battle - my prayers are with you all.

I quit smoking 22 days ago and I'm on the smoking cessation site here, but wanted to ask all of you - if anyone's lung cancer was solely due to smoking??

I really need to hear some stories because right now I'm very irritable and afraid of being tempted on starting up again. I miss it and get bored. Right now I debate with myself and don't think I'll pick it back up but I'm not out of the woods yet.

Any advice and stories are appreciated.

Thanks,

Laurie

 
Old 12-11-2003, 03:59 PM   #2
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Re: Has smoking caused anyone's lung cancer or ????

Quote:
Originally Posted by LL29
Hello everyone,

So sorry to hear of anyone's battle - my prayers are with you all.

I quit smoking 22 days ago and I'm on the smoking cessation site here, but wanted to ask all of you - if anyone's lung cancer was solely due to smoking??

I really need to hear some stories because right now I'm very irritable and afraid of being tempted on starting up again. I miss it and get bored. Right now I debate with myself and don't think I'll pick it back up but I'm not out of the woods yet.

Any advice and stories are appreciated.

Thanks,

Laurie
87% of all lung cancer is the result of smoking. The overall 5 year survival rate for all stages (1 to 4) is 14%. For advanced it's 2%. I'm a long term former smoker. Each year, I get a CT Lung Scan which is 6 times more powerful than xray and can detect a tumor the size of a grain of rice. If caught at stage l, the 5 year survival rate is about 70%. I get this test at a non profit medical center for $250, not reimbursable. Private clinics charge about $425. You don't need a doctors prescription. Smoking is a very difficult habit to break. For those who still smoke get the CT Lung Scan. I suggested this to a heavy smoker who replied, "if I have lung cancer, I don't want to know about it." I was also told to mind my own business.

 
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Old 12-11-2003, 04:13 PM   #3
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Re: Has smoking caused anyone's lung cancer or ????

Well I would never tell you that Michael and thank you for that advice - greatly appreciated and I'm wondering if I should go and get one? I prob. should huh?

You know it's funny how if you're not over 50 yrs. old people think - I'LL BE FINE! You just never know and everyone's body is different so you just never know.

Do you know what the symptoms are, etc...? A girlfriend of mine smokes almost 2 packs a day sometimes and is 44 yrs. old - has been smoking since a teenager and talks here and there about wanting to quit, but in her prior attempts - she's lucky if she lasted more than 2 days so I do worry about her. But at the same time - I'm sure there are plenty of people that were diagnosed that wished they would've gotten one 10 yrs. prior to quitting just to maybe help save themselves sooner??? I know I would've.

Thanks so much for the info and feel free to keep writing - you can always show up at the smoking cessation threads and give the facts there - I'm sure you'll save quite a few lives.

Take care

Laurie in Charlotte (orig from PA neighbor

 
Old 12-11-2003, 04:20 PM   #4
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Re: Has smoking caused anyone's lung cancer or ????

Michael - how long did you smoke anyway and how much per day? Curious.

 
Old 12-11-2003, 05:21 PM   #5
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Re: Has smoking caused anyone's lung cancer or ????

Quote:
Originally Posted by LL29
Well I would never tell you that Michael and thank you for that advice - greatly appreciated and I'm wondering if I should go and get one? I prob. should huh?

You know it's funny how if you're not over 50 yrs. old people think - I'LL BE FINE! You just never know and everyone's body is different so you just never know.

Do you know what the symptoms are, etc...? A girlfriend of mine smokes almost 2 packs a day sometimes and is 44 yrs. old - has been smoking since a teenager and talks here and there about wanting to quit, but in her prior attempts - she's lucky if she lasted more than 2 days so I do worry about her. But at the same time - I'm sure there are plenty of people that were diagnosed that wished they would've gotten one 10 yrs. prior to quitting just to maybe help save themselves sooner??? I know I would've.

Thanks so much for the info and feel free to keep writing - you can always show up at the smoking cessation threads and give the facts there - I'm sure you'll save quite a few lives.

Take care

Laurie in Charlotte (orig from PA neighbor
Laurie, I don't know how long and much you smoked so I can't advise about a CT Lung Scan. Age has nothing to do with being at high risk. Ex: someone who is 50 and has smoked for 15 years is less likely to get lung cancer than someone who is 44 and has smoked 25 years. Your friend is at very high risk of developing lung cancer and heart disease. Your friend should be getting both a CT Lung Scan and a CT Heart Scan. I had a CT Heart Scan two years ago and I'm fine. The symptoms are cough with coughing up blood in mucus; change in breathing, chest pain, weight loss. In 85% of all lung cancer patients by the time it's discovered you're late stage which means 2% 5 year survival. Doctors continue to recommend xray which is ineffective since it will be discovered too late. I had my last CT Lung Scan on 10/28/2003 and was informed the next day by phone that I was negative. $250 gave me peace of mind. I have to die of something but please not lung cancer. I've only known of one person with stage 4 who survived past 5 years. Prevention is the best medicine. I never preach to smokers that they should stop smoking but that they should have an annual CT Lung Scan. So far no one has taken my advise.

 
Old 12-11-2003, 05:26 PM   #6
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Re: Has smoking caused anyone's lung cancer or ????

Quote:
Originally Posted by LL29
Michael - how long did you smoke anyway and how much per day? Curious.
I smoked for about 30 years about 1 1/2 packs a day. Even if someone has stopped you're still vulnerable. I know a long term smoker (30+ years, 2 packs a day) who stopped smoking in 1990. He was diagnosed with stage 4 NSCL in Sept 2000. Died August 2001 at the age of 66.

 
Old 12-11-2003, 05:47 PM   #7
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Re: Has smoking caused anyone's lung cancer or ????

I started smoking when I was 13 yrs. old, but was a closet smoker you'd say. I started smoking a pack a day at 19 yrs. old til I was 33 yrs. (so basically about 15 yrs.).

 
Old 12-11-2003, 05:53 PM   #8
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Re: Has smoking caused anyone's lung cancer or ????

Wow - that's unreal. I sent my friend our thread replies, etc... I hope she's not mad at me but told her it's only because I care so if she gets mad so be it but I might've just saved her life.

I think she's the type that doesn't want to recognize but we'll see. I guess it all depends on if smoking is more important than life.

 
Old 12-11-2003, 06:20 PM   #9
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Re: Has smoking caused anyone's lung cancer or ????

Quote:
Originally Posted by LL29
I started smoking when I was 13 yrs. old, but was a closet smoker you'd say. I started smoking a pack a day at 19 yrs. old til I was 33 yrs. (so basically about 15 yrs.).
You're at low risk. Of course there are exceptions but it seems that most lung cancer patients (smokers) smoked two packs + a day and for at least 20+ years. How sad but I know of a 20 year old male and a 33 year old female (both advanced NSCL) who never smoked. This breaks my heart. Of course, it's sad that anyone (smoker or non smoker) should get this beastly disease. One other comment: it amazes me that women smokers will get an annual mamogram but not a CT Lung Scan. Men smokers will get a prostate exam but not a CT Lung Scan.

 
Old 12-11-2003, 07:04 PM   #10
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Re: Has smoking caused anyone's lung cancer or ????

You're educating me because I didn't even know to ask for one. There's no way to get the doc to refer me is there?

I wouldn't have even thought to get one - the doctor's never mention it.

 
Old 12-11-2003, 07:32 PM   #11
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Re: Has smoking caused anyone's lung cancer or ????

Quote:
Originally Posted by LL29
You're educating me because I didn't even know to ask for one. There's no way to get the doc to refer me is there?

I wouldn't have even thought to get one - the doctor's never mention it.
You don't need a doctors referral or prescription for a private diagnostic clinic. To find one near you go to a search engine and type in CT Lung Scan and your City. Example: CT Lung Scan Raleigh or CT Lung Scan North Carolina. I've never known of one doctor that recommended a smoker or former smoker take a CT Lung Scan. Comment: Your health is YOUR responsibility NOT your doctor's. Again, you're at low risk but if you want peace of mind get one. Doctors wait for the symptoms and then send a patient for the CT Lung Scan. It's the same for heart disease. I prefer to know in the very early stages and this is why I bypass the doctors and order my own tests. I also order my own blood tests every six months and analyse the results with the assistance of a website. Doctors have no interest in prevention only in treating illnesses.

 
Old 12-12-2003, 06:34 AM   #12
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Re: Has smoking caused anyone's lung cancer or ????

Hi Michael - I just wanted to say that I think it's great you are so eager to not only agree to these tests, but to seek them out on your own and pay for them out of pocket - quite commendable. I also wanted to give you a bit of a perspective on why doctors may seem to shy away from ordering a CT for asymptomatic smokers.

One of the biggest issues with long term smokers is getting them to admit that their smoking is an unhealthy and potentially life threatening lifestyle choice. It is hard enough to get patients to even talk about their habit and, ultimately, to admit that they need to quit. It causes many of them to instantly go on the defensive - I've even seen patients take it to an extreme in which there is decreased compliance in regards to unrelated medication, sexual health issues, etc. So for MOST asymptomatic smokers, to ask them to go for a CT (which, remember, in their minds is an unnecessary test) and then to pay for it on their own (this is usually the limiting issue) is usually unthinkable for most doctors - you've lost them already the minute you ask. A much better way (again, in general) is to get them to admit they have to quit (usually takes about 2-3 years worth of office visits), then get them to actually go through with it. You might see why it would be taking a giant leap to ask them to get a CT. I would LOVE IT if every long term smoker were as eager as you were to be active with their own healthcare - the incidence of SS and NSS lung cancers would not necessarily be reduced, but the survival would be much higher. I know it's hard not to, but please don't blame the docs though - prevention really is a big issue, but prevention always requires patient compliance (which is a whole different issue in itself). When you see how many patients will go off of oxygen for a few minutes to grab a smoke or who continue to smoke even after being diagnosed with stage IV SSC, it becomes obvious that not everyone is as eager to be proactive about their health as you and some of the other posters on this board. When you start to see this day in and day out, it also is easy to see why CT is not the first test ordered in every asymptomatic smoker.

Best Wishes.

Last edited by fudd; 12-12-2003 at 06:46 AM.

 
Old 12-12-2003, 07:03 AM   #13
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Re: Has smoking caused anyone's lung cancer or ????

In my case, no, smoking did not cause my cancer. Mine is a result of the Vietnam war and the lovely chemicals and so on I inhaled and absorbed over there. However, a large number of the people I speak to when at support groups here at home or on the net, a great number of their cancers are from smoking. I've also, heard and someone correct me if this is inaccurate, the longer you are not smoking, the less you smoke, the less significant the risk is.

Please stick with it. I"m pulling for you.

Walter


Quote:
Originally Posted by LL29
Hello everyone,

So sorry to hear of anyone's battle - my prayers are with you all.

I quit smoking 22 days ago and I'm on the smoking cessation site here, but wanted to ask all of you - if anyone's lung cancer was solely due to smoking??

I really need to hear some stories because right now I'm very irritable and afraid of being tempted on starting up again. I miss it and get bored. Right now I debate with myself and don't think I'll pick it back up but I'm not out of the woods yet.

Any advice and stories are appreciated.

Thanks,

Laurie

 
Old 12-12-2003, 07:12 AM   #14
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Re: Has smoking caused anyone's lung cancer or ????

Hi Walter,

That's absolutely correct, the longer you abstain from smoking (no matter how long or how much you smoked), the more your risk will decrease relative to a similar smoker who continues to smoke. I am sorry to hear of your diagnosis and the cause of it. There ARE cancers, such as adenocarcinoma, mesothelioma, and bronchoalveolar carcinoma, that are NOT related to cigarette smoking. The vast majority of cancers seen nowadays are small and squamous cell carcinoma, which are almost always caused by smoking. These are the ones that are preventable.

Last edited by fudd; 12-12-2003 at 07:13 AM.

 
Old 12-12-2003, 08:16 AM   #15
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Re: Has smoking caused anyone's lung cancer or ????

Thanks Walter - and let me take my hat off to you and say THANK YOU for your sacrifice you've given for our country. I'm a PGW vet, but nothing compares to you guys and what you went thru.

Yes, I'm 23 days smoke free and it's not easy. I still get cravings and miss it. It's just a horrible thing and I wish the crowd I was with when 13 yrs. old would've never pushed it on me or that I had said no. Such is life - I just have to stay strong.

My prayers are with you Walter

Thx for the info too Fudd - )))

Laurie

 
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