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More than 10 years = too late

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Old 12-21-2003, 08:13 AM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 8
HumanChimney HB User
More than 10 years = too late

I have smoked since I was 17, and I turned 33 in November.
Recently I went to the doctor because of a cold, and he could
tell that I am a smoker when he listened to my lungs.
I told him my smoking history and asked him about quitting methods.
I also asked him about long-term benefits in regards to quitting.
He said that for the heart quitting is great, and that a few years after
quitting the cardiovascular system can be in great shape (with exercise
and proper diet as well).
But he also said that people who smoke 10 years or more
will almost always develop lung or throat cancer. He also said that
the same people will develop emphasema (sp?) later in life. I told
him not to sugercoat anything in regards to me. He said given the
length of my time smoking and my "intake" (1 1/2 packs a day now)
he said that I have about an 80% chance of having lung cancer by
age 40, and 100% by age 45.

I have been wanting to quit for quite some time, but now I don't know
if its even worth bothering. Mabye I will take my chances
cardiovascularly and just wait for the cancer to hit.
Any other opinions on this? Does anyone know about survival
rates with lung or throat cancer? I don't think its very good.


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Old 12-21-2003, 12:53 PM   #2
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 9
jimpmcsh HB User
Re: More than 10 years = too late

hi humanChimney first off check around the web .. most sites say that within 10 - 15 years of quitting you can reduce chances of cancer from half - almost that of a non smoker ... second, did your doctor run tests on you or how did he come up to the conclusion that he is 100% correct that you will have cancer at age 45? third, although chances of getting cancer are defatly higher in smokers .. it dosen't mean you should not quit .. who knows what will happen .. stop smoking start exercising ... unless you doc is basing his prediction off of tests he has done to you ... i defiantly would not take those percentages to heart . do some more research. and most importantly .. stop smoking...

Jim - Free and Healing for Thirty Days, 5 Hours and 51 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 2 Days and 15 Hours, by avoiding the use of 756 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $151.41.

Old 12-21-2003, 01:03 PM   #3
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 1,657
Losec20mg HB User
Re: More than 10 years = too late

K, I know of some old people friends that have smoked all there lives..and, don't have Ca. and, these people are hitting their 80's.. I do know that smoking is bad for your health and, that everyone should stop but, your doc. shouldn't of told you that I'm sure you're old enough to figure that out..anyways I stopped two months ago..woohooo..I was just smoking a pack a week but, still felt it disturbing.....

Old 12-21-2003, 05:46 PM   #4
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 478
Tobias HB User
Re: More than 10 years = too late

Human chimney, methinks your doctor is not helping but rather is scaring you and has apparently instilled enough doubt in your mind that you now think it's not worth the trouble to quit. IT IS WORTH THE TROUBLE.

I will use my situation as an example to illustrate the Sloan-Kettering Lung Cancer Risk Assessment program which can be used to assess the risk of contracting lung cancer in the next 10 years for people:
Age: 50 to 75 years old
Smoking History: 10 to 60 cigarettes a day for 25 to 55 years
Current Status: Current smokers, and former smokers who quit 20 years ago or less

Yes, I realize that you don't fit this profile and therefore can't use the calculator. Bear with me.

I plugged my numbers into this calculator: 60 yrs old, smoked 38 yrs, smoked 20 cigs a day, quit 2 years ago. The calculator result is that my risk of lung cancer in the next 10 years is 3%.

I think it would have been more accurate for your doctor to tell you that, while the risk of heart disease is immediately reduced with smoking cessation, the risk of cancer does not decrease at all for awhile. You'll always be at a higher risk of cancer than never-smokers. But I think he was irresponsible to tell you that you had a 100% chance of cancer at age 40 or whatever. That kind of statement is certain to make the patient say "what the hell, I guess I won't bother quitting since I'm gonna die any way". Not only irresponsible but I think that statement is inaccurate.

So what? I can tell you that whatever life I have left is infinitely better as a non-smoker than it would be as a smoker. As a smoker I was a social pariah, coughed, smelled bad, was short of breath, got frequent colds (and they lasted longer). I haven't coughed since I quit 2 yrs ago. The only cold I got was so mild I hardly noticed. I no longer huff and puff when climbing stairs. Food tastes better. I no longer organize my life around my habit.

I hope you don't let this keep you from quitting.

Last edited by Tobias; 12-22-2003 at 12:37 PM.

Old 12-22-2003, 09:17 AM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 242
Invincible HB User
Re: More than 10 years = too late

That doctor is WRONG!!!!!!!!!!

The truth is, there are plenty of people who have smoked all their lives and not gotten cancer.

There are people who have never smoked and get cancer.

Smoking increases your chances of ill health, but that's it.

Do not NOT stop smoking because of what the ignorant doctor says.

It is never too late to reap great benefits.

Old 12-23-2003, 01:03 PM   #6
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Michigan
Posts: 74
frosty87 HB User
Re: More than 10 years = too late

It is never too late to benefit from quitting. Damage to your cardio/vascular system begins to revert almost immediatly. I think you either miunderstood you Dr. or you need a new Dr.

If at first you don't succeed
Quit Quit again.

Last edited by frosty87; 12-23-2003 at 01:06 PM.

Old 12-26-2003, 08:13 AM   #7
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 699
LL29 HB User
Re: More than 10 years = too late

Hi Human and yes ladies/gents I'm back

I think your doc was tryin to scare you into stopping and I'm sort of glad he did because you're now here. There is no doubt that smoking more than a pack a day and for more than 20 yrs. can seriously hurt you - some are lucky and nothing happens to them - some are not so lucky and will develop cancer within 10 yrs. so it's all when you'd like your time to be up. I don't feel like playing russian roulette so I stopped. I'll miss smoking at times, but overall I'm very proud and happy that I quit. I love smelling good. Moreso than that I have already decreased my likelihood of heart disease and every other disease. If you're really that paranoid, then I would suggest getting a CT Lung Scan.

You should want to quit to save your own life Human - not what others say. Do it for you and be strong.

Human - if you want to be able to walk up the steps one day, then STOP SMOKING! If you want to be around others without repulsing them with your nasty smell, then STOP SMOKING! If you want to live a longer and healthier life, then STOP SMOKING! If you don't want to die a very painful and ugly death, then STOP SMOKING! If you don't want to seriously put your loved ones thru the worst emotional pain ever watching you die, then STOP SMOKING!

Prayer works as well


36 days smoke free cold turkey and counting

Old 12-30-2003, 08:51 PM   #8
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Posts: 2,334
Deda HB User
Re: More than 10 years = too late

VERY WELL SAID LL! Especially your 3rd paragraph there. You are like the Jesse Jackson here of quit smokin' preachin'. No, seriously, that was very good.


I don't care what that Dr. said, I don't think it's ever too late to benefit from quitting smoking. I even read once in a Reader's Digest article, how some precancerous cells on the lungs can actually reverse themselves after a person quits smoking. I can't believe he told you that. Most Dr's are more than happy to tell us how much we'll benefit healthwise if we quit.
Just to let you know that not everyone gets lung cancer, I'm sitting here with my 80 year old Dad that's visiting right now, who smoked for 60 some years and quit, and he's doing pretty darn good for an old dude too. Now if that were true, what happened to him? Yes I know he's probably an exception to the rule, but just goes to prove not all will develop lung cancer, and I'm sure his quitting has benefitted him in some way too. (Says he breathes better now).
So quit anyway, and go back and tell that Dr. how great you feel after you do!


Last edited by Deda; 12-30-2003 at 08:53 PM.

Old 12-30-2003, 09:09 PM   #9
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 9
Marygr HB User
Re: More than 10 years = too late

after reading all of this; I have to comment that I stopped smoking 8 mos ago after 30 years and feel great. Once you stop; consider it a milestone and start a detox; health program; get on probiotic vitamins (acidolphilas, etc) and lots of mineral supplements; enjoy fresh juices; and get in shape and you will look 10 years younger in a short time....Happy New Year

Old 12-30-2003, 10:05 PM   #10
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Deda HB User
Re: More than 10 years = too late

Hey Marygr--

Congratulations on your 8 months quit--that's terrific!! Like you I smoked 30 years, a pk a day, sometimes more. I just quit 3 months and 1 week ago.
Did you quit "cold turkey" or use an NRT aid? (just curious, and I think it helps others to hear a lot of different ways ppl do it).


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