Top
30
Doctor insights on: Pack Years Lung Cancer Risk

Share
1

1
How many years (average) of smoking (half a pack per day) does it take to get lung cancer?

How many years (average) of smoking (half a pack per day) does it take to get lung cancer?

None...: ...Even non-smokers get lung cancer. For people having the genetic machinery to get lung cancer (which isn't everybody), smoking increases the chances of lung cancer by an average of 50-fold. The problem is that we don't yet know what genes make smokers susceptible to cancer. It's best not to roll those dice at all. If you want help stopping, tell your doctor. There are many new options to help. ...Read more

Dr. Barry Rosen
4,351 Doctors shared insights

Cancer (Definition)

Cancer is a group of diseases that is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth leading to invasion of surrounding tissues that spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can begin anywhere in the body and is usually related to one or more genetic mutations that allow normal cells to become malignant by interfering with internal cellular control mechanisms, such as programmed cell death or by preventing ...Read more


Dr. Andrew Ho Dr. Ho
1 doctor agreed:
2

2
29 yr old w/ 6-7 pack years smoking (quit 1month ago). Had mild but persistent 1-sided chest sensation 1 month (feels more like internal tickle/itch than pain). No other symptoms. Lung cancer likely?

Dr. Andrew Ho Dr. Ho
1 doctor agreed:
29 yr old w/ 6-7 pack years smoking (quit 1month ago). Had mild but persistent 1-sided chest sensation 1 month (feels more like internal tickle/itch than pain). No other symptoms. Lung cancer likely?

Not likely: But if you want to make sure, you should go see a doctor. More importantly, you may want to stop smoking. That will be a good step to reduce your chance of getting lung cancer in the future. Who wants to be worried about lung cancer every time there is a chest sensation? You are only 29 years old. You have lots of years left to worry. ...Read more

3

3
I've been a one pack smoker for the last four years. I am 24now. I recently quit and am doing good. Are there any chances of lung cancer? What steps can I take?

I've been a one pack smoker for the last four years. I am 24now. I recently quit and am doing good. Are there any chances of lung cancer? What steps can I take?

Mild increase. Stop: The increased risk of lung cancer due to smoking is dependent both on genetics as well as lifestyle. The risk due to smoking depends both on how many packs per day but also for how many years one smokes. After quitting risk slowly decreases but not to level as if u never smoked. Some people have a genetic predisposition that requires low exposure. Some lung cancer develops in non smokers. Quit. ...Read more

4

4
If 16 years old smoke 8 month electronic cigarets (very small amounts per day) and then quit. Do he have higher lung cancer risk than no smoker?

If 16 years old smoke 8 month electronic cigarets (very small amounts per day) and then quit. Do he have higher lung cancer risk than no smoker?

No data available: These products have not been available long enough, or studied well enough to answer this question. This product does not contain some of the dozens of toxic materials in inhaled spoke from regular cigarettes. However, the use of the lungs as an entry point for this or any drug exposes the lung tissue to damage, if that substance can do so on a cellular level. ...Read more

5

5
Hi, I have been smoking for more or less 5 years an average of 5-6 cigarettes a day. Now I stopped since 1 year. Do I have a high lung cancer risk?

Hi, I have been smoking for more or less 5 years an average of 5-6 cigarettes a day. Now I stopped since 1 year. Do I have a high lung cancer risk?

Interesting: Check this smoking study:Results: There were 37, 078 women in the analytic cohort. Compared with the never smokers, former smokers had an elevated lung cancer risk (relative risk, 6.6; 95% confidence interval, 5.0 to 8.7) up to 30 years after smoking cessation for all former smokers
http://jco. Ascopubs. Org/content/21/5/921.abstract ...Read more

6

6
I quit smoking at 36 years old after 15 pack years. What's my risk of lung cancer?

I quit smoking at 36 years old after 15 pack years. What's my risk of lung cancer?

Difficult to predict: It is good that you are quitting smoking. It takes a while for the body to recover from the damage of tobacco and your risk will be lower due to quitting than it would be otherwise. I wish you the best in your effort to quit use of tobacco. ...Read more

7

7
If a 25 yr old has a smoking history of 8 pack years, went to the e.r. 3xs, lung sound clear, no cxr, what is likelihood of lung cancer?

If a 25 yr old has a smoking history of 8 pack years, went to the e.r. 3xs, lung sound clear, no cxr, what is likelihood of lung cancer?

Very low: The risk at this stage is very low. If you have not quit smoking, do it now while you are ahead. Do not get into e-cigarettes or chewing tobacco. Stay away from tobacco in any form and do not take more than one drink in a day. ...Read more

8

8
Quit smoking dec. 2012. Had a few cigs in between. Total pack years is 23. What are my risks of lung cancer in my 40's? 50's? 60's? Currently have wheezing, 3yrs ago pulm. Told me have early emphysema.

Quit smoking dec. 2012. Had a few cigs in between. Total pack years is 23. What are my risks of lung cancer in my 40's? 50's? 60's? Currently have wheezing, 3yrs ago pulm. Told me have early emphysema.

20 years to normal: Cancer risk returns to normal only 20 years after stopping smoking.

Congratulations on having stopped. Cancer or no cancer, being able to breath is something we often don't fully appreciate until it is lost. ...Read more

9

9
15 pack year smoker, 40 years old, quit recently, past 5 years benign colon and uterine polyps. No imed fam cancer. Suggest screening for lung cancer?

15 pack year smoker, 40 years old, quit recently, past 5 years benign colon and uterine polyps. No imed fam cancer. Suggest screening for lung cancer?

No: You do not meet the recently determined criteria for lung cancer screening which is 30 pck/yrs and older than 55.Risk of lung cancer attributed to smoking is logarithmic meaning each extra year multiplies the risk rather than adding to it. Studies show that approx 10% women who smoke their entire lives die of lung cancer but only 1% who quit by age 40 die of lung cancer. Don't start back & u r good ...Read more

10

10
Quit smoking cigs after 4 pack years. Still smoke alot of marijuana and have for 7 years. Chances I have lung cancer? Should I get a chest xray or no?

Quit smoking cigs after 4 pack years. Still smoke alot of marijuana and have for 7 years. Chances I have lung cancer? Should I get a chest xray or no?

Lung CA &chest xray: Well first of all please stop smoking tob and do not start again. MJ can have real adverse effects as well. Having been a doc for nearly 25 years I can tell you over time it will fry your brain. CXR for lung cancer has not been shown to help find it early. CT scans can find it before you have symptoms but it finds lots of things that aren't cancer too. Re;only for heavy smokers ...Read more

11

11
I'm 17 have been smoking for a year and in the last half a year almost two packs a day do I have bigger chances of getting lung cancer?

I'm 17 have been smoking for a year and in the last half a year almost two packs a day do I have bigger chances of getting lung cancer?

Quit Now: Quit NOW, before it's too late. Now the increased risk you have done to your body is largely theoretical (although some might argue some permanent harm has already been done). Keep it up for a few more years and we will be able to tell you more precisely how much you are risking your life.
Don't start killing yourself until you are at least out of your teens. When UR older, you'll know better. ...Read more

13

13
Rephrase: besides 30 year pack history what are other significant risk factors for screening for lung cancer? Family history? Other cancer? Polyps?

Rephrase: besides 30 year pack history what are other significant risk factors for screening for lung cancer? Family history? Other cancer? Polyps?

Several: Smoking is a primary!
second hand smoke.
Inhalation toxins - asbestos as an example.
Metastatic from any other cancer:
breast, renal, melanoma etc.
Family
recurrent symptoms, pneumonia, chronic scars on lungs etc. ...Read more

14

14
28 yrs old smoked 1/2 pack a day for 12 yrs and quit 1 year ago what's the likelihood of me getting oral, throat and lung cancer?

Minimal risk: You are to be congratulated for quitting to smoke and staying off of them for rest of your life.
I expect you to have no significant increase in risk of Cancer as long as you adopt a healthy lifestyle: No smoking, minimal or no alcohol use, eat healthy and keep your weight under control and exercise/walking daily to stay fit and avoid overeating and over weight. ...Read more

15

15
Besides 30 pack year history, what are other reasons to recomend CT scan for lung cancer screening? Is this the most accurate predictor of risk?

Besides 30 pack year history, what are other reasons to recomend CT scan for lung cancer screening? Is this the most accurate predictor of risk?

Yes: Currently smoking history is best predictor of risk for smoking associated lung cancers, other known predictors are presence of COPD and prior personal history of lung cancer and significant exposure to aerosolized asbestos. Talk with your PCP if concerned, a case for screening can be made for individuals based on unique combinations of risk factors. ...Read more

16

16
Can you explain if it's truly bad for my lung cancer risk to drive with my car windows down?

Can you explain if it's truly bad for my lung cancer risk to drive with my car windows down?

Don't think so: A fear spread in the internet is that driving with the windows down may increase exposure to exhaust and smog and increase the risk of lung cancer. This is not proven and is unlikely to be a significant risk factor unless possibly you are constantly stuck in traffic jams. ...Read more

17

17
Doctors say lifetime heavy smoking (2packs daily) gives an average 30 percent chance of lung cancer. So a half pack a day gives me 7.5 chance?

Doctors say lifetime heavy smoking (2packs daily) gives an average 30 percent chance of lung cancer. So a half pack a day gives me 7.5 chance?

????: It does not really happen that way. If there is any risk at all, WHY smoke? Avoid smoking and use of illicit drugs, eat healthy, and exercise for a longer lifespan. ...Read more

18

18
My parents smoked in the house, half a pack to a pack a day until I was 7. Am I at significant risk of lung cancer? I'm a nonsmoker.

Not likely: Many of the harmful effects of tobacco do regress and it is unlikely that you are at greater risk than an average non-smoker. For good health - Have a diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low fat milk and milk products, nuts, beans, legumes, lentils and small amounts of lean meats. Avoid saturated fats. Exercise at least 150 minutes/week and increase the intensity of exercise gradually. Do not use tobacco or alcohol in any form.
Practice safe sex. ...Read more

19

19
Can a person with lung cancer have a normal PFT?? My mom went to the dr & everything seemed fine but she still coughs a lot. Smokes 1 pack in 3 days

Can a person with lung cancer have a normal PFT?? My mom went to the dr & everything seemed fine but she still coughs a lot. Smokes 1 pack in 3 days

Yes: PFT isn't a screening test for lung cancer, cough is a common symptom of bronchitis caused by tobacco smoking. If lung cancer is suspected, imaging studies as routine chest x-ray or probably high resolution C T scan of chest would be the way to go, but after doctor's evaluation, best wishes ...Read more

20

20
I clean my toilet with 20 toilet wipes my lungs hurt afterwards also use a lot of anti bac on surfaces and bleach. Exposure 1.5-2hrs lung cancer risk?

I clean my toilet with 20 toilet wipes my lungs hurt afterwards also use a lot of anti bac on surfaces and bleach. Exposure 1.5-2hrs lung cancer risk?

Probably not, but...: You state that you are exposing yourself to several hours per day of fumes which irritate your lungs. Known carcinogens are tobacco smoke, both active and passive, and radioactive gas (radon) in a tightly sealed basement. Best single thing you can do for yourself is to stop smoking and avoid people who do! ...Read more

21

21
Quitting smoking and lung cancer risk reduction?

Quitting smoking and lung cancer risk reduction?

Yes: Quit smoking
risk of lung cancer and several other life threatening conditions go down.
One's breath and clothes smell better also!
think of the $$$$ /saved. ...Read more

22

22
Quitting smoking and lung cancer risk reduction. What are the odds?

Quitting smoking and lung cancer risk reduction. What are the odds?

Better: Quitting improves them. Work with family physician towards comprehensive wellness. It's important to understand there are numerous disease that smoking will increase risk. Per lung cancer, there are some online resources to help calculate risk: http://goo. Gl/divhj and http://goo. Gl/r9ita. ...Read more

23

23
Does lung cancer cause intermittent fleeting rib pain, or would this be advanced disease?? 25, doc says lungs sound clear, 9 -yr pack hstry

Does lung cancer cause intermittent fleeting rib pain, or would this be advanced disease?? 25, doc says lungs sound clear, 9 -yr pack hstry

Non-specific: Fleeting chest pains are not specific for lung cancer. It could be caused by a host of other benign reasons like muscle pain, rib pain from strain or inflammation. Pneumonia or pleurisy can also cause it. If you are worried about lung cancer and you are a smoker, check with your doctor about a screening CAT scan of the chest. If it is negative, time to stop smoking! ...Read more

25

25
What are the chances of getting lung cancer from one chest CT scan? I had one chest CT scan month ago and I m worried about cancer risk.

None!: You cannot get cancer from one routine ct scan. It takes more than dozens of ct scans over a life time, even then it is rare to have this problem. Otherwise we will be foolish doing ct scans on people in order to help them! ...Read more

26

26
25, 9 pack history, clearcxr, coughed small spot of blood, lung cancer?? Clear throat Alot

25, 9 pack history, clearcxr, coughed small spot of blood, lung cancer?? Clear throat Alot

Not yet: It takes about 20+ years of smoking before Cancer shows up in your throat or in the lungs. This is high time to quit before lightening strokes and you may not have another opportunity to quit smoking in order to regain good healath. ...Read more

27

27
Upper right side back pain, tender to touch comes and goes, gets better with massage and hot packs. Ches CT normal, I am a smoker, is this lung cancer?

Probably not: Most cases of lung cancer would not present with tenderness to touch (sounds like a muscle issue), and a normal chest ct is reassuring. I hope you feel better soon. ...Read more

28

28
25 yr old/9 pack hisory, cxr clear, coughed up decent sized blood streak with brown tar, lungs sound clear, lung cancer?? clear throat constantly

25 yr old/9 pack hisory, cxr clear, coughed up decent sized blood streak with brown tar, lungs sound clear, lung cancer?? clear throat constantly

Quit smoking!!!: Hi. I doubt you have lung cancer...YET. But are you gonna keep smoking until you GET it??? C'mon! Time to put the thinking cap on and quit smoking while you're ahead! ...Read more

29

29
My husband has stage 4 lung cancer. He is on keppra, (levetiracetam) oxycodone, steroids, zofran, prevacid and is drinking at least a 12 pack 3/4 times a week! Help!

My husband has stage 4 lung cancer. He is on keppra, (levetiracetam) oxycodone, steroids, zofran, prevacid and is drinking at least a 12 pack 3/4 times a week! Help!

Unfortunate: Sorry for your situation, unfortunate fact in stage IV lung cancer is end stage cancer life expectancy is not many years, one he could be depressed all your loving family need to involve to over come, end stage cancer to make life as comfortable as possible is the essence but not drinking or oxycodone, get hospice organization involved good luck. ...Read more

Lung (Definition)

Deoxygenated blood enters the lungs from the right side of the heart and travels to the lungs. When you inspire, oxygen flows into the lungs, transverses the capilliares and attaches to hemoglobin down a gradient. At the same time, co2 diffuses into the capilaries and is expelled with exhalation. Oxygen rich blood then flows to the left side of the heart and into the ...Read more


Dr. David Cooke
864 Doctors shared insights

Lung Cancer (Definition)

Cancer that forms in tissues of the lung, usually in the cells lining air passages. The two main types are small cell lung cancer and ...Read more