A member asked:

If you stop smoking, can that confuse cell growth and go into overdrive causing cancerous cells to grow?

A doctor has provided 1 answer
Dr. Susan Woods answered

Specializes in Internal Medicine

Not likely: Quitting smoking is one of the healthiest things you can do, and lowers your risk of cancer. Tobacco has 50 (fifty!) known carcinogens, plus carbon monoxide. So there's no safe level. But, some cells that grow and work better when you stop, such as the lining of your windpipe (cilia). In very rare cases, cancer is found after quitting, but it probably was there earlier, or, due to secondhand smoke.

Answered 3/16/2014



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