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Doctor insights on: Smoker Lungs After 5 Years

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If I've been a smoker for 5 years, what damage have I done to my lungs?

If I've been a smoker for 5 years, what damage have I done to my lungs?

Damage.: Smoking damages the lung, causing emphysema and predisposing to lung cancer. Stop now and try to minimize the damage in the long run. ...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


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I was a light smoker for 4 years and I quit a month ago. The reason I quit was due to sharp pains in the lungs. Since then I rarely obtain it. What is it?

I was a light smoker for 4 years and I quit a month ago. The reason I quit was due to sharp pains in the lungs. Since then I rarely obtain it. What is it?

Impossible to say: With certainty what YOUR pain is, but most people your age who have chest pains and are smokers have inflammation of the airways (acute/chronic bronchitis) and this can be associated with pain, especially with coughing. However, nobody can make a diagnosis without a full history, examining you and (perhaps) other tests such as an EKG and Chest Xray. See your doctor. Congrats for quitting smoking! ...Read more

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What are the possible causes of scarring in the lungs. My dad now 80 used to be a smoker but quit it some years back has this scarring in lungs. Help.

What are the possible causes of scarring in the lungs. My dad now 80 used to be a smoker but quit it some years back has this scarring in lungs. Help.

Probably just that: As doctors we don't usually call anything scars of the lungs so I can't be sure what you mean. Smoking may disrupt lung structure leading to what is called emphysema. Pulmonary fibrosis may occur spontaneously. Old pneumonia may leave permanent changes, which seems like a scar. There is no cure for these diseases but treatment may help. Your dad should get a lung specialist if at all possible. ...Read more

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I am 19 yr old I was a light smoker for 4 years and it has been a month since I quit I want to know the looks of my lungs, if it can return to pink?

I am 19 yr old I was a light smoker for 4 years and it has been a month since I quit I want to know the looks of my lungs, if it can return to pink?

Smoking effect: I admire you for quitting smoking and not smoking for 1 month.
You have been blessed with 3 Million Air sacs in your lungs due to which you are alive and functioning.
Your chances of recovery of damaged air sacs are good if you have not had respiratory infections,
have not seen physician for respiratory problems,
and you have been physically active.
See a Therapist for stress management. ...Read more

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I was a heavy smoker for 14 years (1 pack a day) and I now I quit since 1month is a intensive cardio workout can help my lungs to recover fast?

I was a heavy smoker for 14 years (1 pack a day) and I now I quit since 1month is a intensive cardio workout can help my lungs to recover fast?

Not really: You can't speed up recovery of your lungs but you can slow the damage and prevent future problems - from smoking or not. Cardio workout is one good method for that - it exercises your heart and lungs and causes frequent gas exchange from as much of your lungs as possible. ...Read more

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What are the chances of a healthy, non smoker (quit 5 years ago), 36 year old, caucasian, male, no family history of cancer getting lung cancer?

What are the chances of a healthy, non smoker (quit 5 years ago), 36 year old, caucasian, male, no family history of cancer getting lung cancer?

Low: Need more info. It is more common in heavy sm9ker abovevage of 50. It is not impossible though to have lung cancer at young age but I would rule out more common problems such an infection etc. It also depends on the duration and the quantity of smoking. In anyway, I would recommend to followup with your doctor. ...Read more

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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

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I am 41, non smoker. Asthma for 35 years. Recently diagnosed with bronchiactisis, 50% lung capacity after meds. Suggestions for improvements?

See allergist: You need to find out the cause for the bronchiectasis and the reduced lung capacity. If you have problem with water damage in your home, get out ASAP. Once a cause can be established then treatment can be better formulated. ...Read more

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I was a very heavy smoker. I stopped smoking nearly 10 years ago. Will my lungs have recovered to what they were like before I started smoking?

I was a very heavy smoker. I stopped smoking nearly 10 years ago. Will my lungs have recovered to what they were like before I started smoking?

Smoking: Congrats on sustained cessation of smoking! It is probably one of the most difficult addictions to stop. The amount of "recovery" of lung function depends on several factors, such as number of years of smoking, number of packs per day, amount of emphysema present, other toxins to the lungs (ie. Occupation exposures), and other health issues such as heart disease which is common in smokers. ...Read more

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My dad grew in a house of 3 chain smokers- he then smoked 2 packs a dayfor25 years himself. He has not smoked for 25 years. Is he at risk of lung ca?

My dad grew in a house of 3 chain smokers- he then smoked 2 packs a dayfor25 years himself. He has not smoked for 25 years. Is he at risk of lung ca?

Yes: Much less than if he were still smoking. There is nothing either of you can do about the cancer risk or the emphysema he probably has. You have and love one another. Thanks for writing ...Read more

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I have chest /lung pain when I lay down its been there since August I'm 24 years old have been a smoker since I was 13 have no fever what could cuz it?

I have chest /lung pain when I lay down its been there since August I'm 24 years old have been a smoker since I was 13 have no fever what could cuz it?

Chest Pain: I understand your concern about chest pain for 9 months
Thank you for being honest about smoking for11 Years
Smoking can cause chronic bronchitis
Bending and lying down particularly right after eating can make GERD symptoms and discomfort worse which can also become worse with stress
See your Physician for diagnosis, have Lab tests, X-rays. Discuss treatment for smoking effects, GERD and stress ...Read more

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Is there a chance for a heavy smoker to get diagnosed with lung cancer at 30 years old?

Is there a chance for a heavy smoker to get diagnosed with lung cancer at 30 years old?

Yes: 30 years old is young but cigarettes have a strong link to lung cancer and it is possible. If you are concerned or have symptoms like blood in the sputum please see your doctor. ...Read more

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How possible is it for a 33 year old smoker to get lung cancer after 17 years of smoking 12 a day?

How possible is it for a 33 year old smoker to get lung cancer after 17 years of smoking 12 a day?

Bad luck: You don't need to smoke a lot to cause cancer. They asked jack nicklaus how he kept winning. "luck, " he said. "but you just beat every golfer in the world?! that's luck? " "absolutely, " answered jack, "and the more I practice, the luckier I get." smoking is like the outside of practicing. The more you smoke, the unluckier you get. ...Read more

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How likely is it for a 20 year old female smoker of 4 years to develop lung cancer? Immediately and later in life.

Unknown: There is virtually no chance that a 20 year old who has smoked for 4 years has lung cancer. The longer one smokes, and the more one smokes, the higher the risk of developing lung cancer, emphysema, bronchitis, and other cancers and medical illnesses associated with smoking.

Please find a way to quit! ...Read more

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I am 16 years old and I smoked for about 2 years on and off, mostly a social smoker (have stopped) can I get lung cancer

I am 16 years old and I smoked for about 2 years on and off, mostly a social smoker (have stopped) can I get lung cancer

Yes you can but stop: Smoking socially for 2 years has likely increased your risk of getting lung cancer slightly but the most important thing is to stop forever now and your risk will decrease to little above normal. ...Read more

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I get a burning tingling sensation on my upper back (lung area) I do not have a cough, although I am a 'social smoker' for 20 years.

I get a burning tingling sensation on my upper back (lung area) I do not have a cough, although I am a 'social smoker' for 20 years.

Well: I have found lung cancer in patients without a cough and up to 2 packs a week of tobacco is a lot over 20 years. I would get it checked out and maybe get a chest x ray to start out with. ...Read more

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26 years old. Trying to quit smoking. At my young age, is all damage ive done to heart and lungs completely 100% reversible? Very light smoker

26 years old. Trying to quit smoking. At my young age, is all damage ive done to heart and lungs completely 100% reversible? Very light smoker

Yes: When you quit smoking you will enjoy reversal of all of the consequences of smoking and will find that with more energy and better breathing you will be able to exercise, enjoy a healthy diet, have better thinking and an improved mood overall. After taking this courageous step, you will find having a healthy lifestyle quite easy. Congratulations. ...Read more

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Hi Dr. I am 34 years old male, non smoker I took chest radiograph before 2 weeks I found that I have lung nodule 6*6mm In my left lung, thanks?

CT follow-up: Get a CT scan if not done yet. Isolated lung nodule of 6.6 mm is too small to be detected by PET-CT, and also too small to biopsy at this time. Your risk for primary lung cancer is relatively low given your young age and nonsmoker status. But I suggest you to see a lung doctor for opinion and CT follow-up. In addition, what did your MRI abd show? ...Read more

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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

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Hey. I am 18 years old. Smoker since 2 years back. I want to stop, but its hard with all the pressure from my friends. Can I develope lung cancer?

Hey. I am 18 years old. Smoker since 2 years back. I want to stop, but its hard with all the pressure from my friends. Can I develope lung cancer?

Yes!: If you continue to smoke your risk of developing lung cancer proportionately increases, the risk becomes nearly 100% depending upon how long you live and continue to smoke. Quitting now will greatly reduce your risk for developing lung cancer and improve your lung function. Bad mistakes from peers should not encourage you to do the same. ...Read more

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I was a heavy smoker from the age of 20 to 37. I quit three years ago, am now 40. Lung cancer has run in my family with lifelong smokers. Does quitting really make a difference with a familial history as far as cancer incidence?

I was a heavy smoker from the age of 20 to 37. I quit three years ago, am now 40. Lung cancer has run in my family with lifelong smokers. Does quitting really make a difference with a familial history as far as cancer incidence?

YES: ALL the statistics indicate that FAMILY HISTORY included CIGARETTE SMOKING is the #1 RISK FACTOR in the development of Cancer of the lung OF ALL TYPES!

DO NOT "RATIONALIZE" smoking again (I think that's what you are doing. NO? ...Read more

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How do you get lung cancer? If you don't smoke? Myparents smoked, but I always hated the way the stuff smelled. When I got older, I made them go outside to smoke, and I haven't been around smokers in years. Sohow could I have lung cancer?

How do you get lung cancer? If you don't smoke? Myparents smoked, but I always hated the way the stuff smelled. When I got older, I made them go outside to smoke, and I haven't been around smokers in years. Sohow could I have lung cancer?

I: I agree with dr. Leeman's answer entirely. Clearly, the most common cause of lung cancer is due to cigarette smoking.

As an added piece of information, exposure to radon gas, usually by way of poorly vented basements, is one of the more likely causes of lung cancer when smoking is not a factor. You live in cook county, illinois and in general, it is listed as a county with moderate potential for levels of radon (in the range of 2-4 pci/l). You may want to have your home assessed for radon levels and if they are elevated have a reputable radon mitigation company discuss options for your home - usually a simple venting system is all that is needed. ...Read more

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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

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2 nodules found in my lungs. 7 and 8mm. Smoker for 35 years. Why wait 3 months to see if they grow for 2nd CT scan as opposed to doing biopsy now?

2 nodules found in my lungs. 7 and 8mm. Smoker for 35 years. Why wait 3 months to see if they grow for 2nd CT scan as opposed to doing biopsy now?

Risk: Inserting a needle or going through your airway to get these small spots can cause more harm including death. This protocol of rescanning can decide if it is indeed cancer. Small growths like these could be noncancerous. Good luck ...Read more

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I have off on chest pain for 3 months. I am 38 years old female. I have in last 2 weeks I have lost 4kg. In last two weeks my upper back is hurting me badly and today coughing. Lung cancer?? ex smoker

I have off on chest pain for 3 months. I am 38 years old female. I have in last 2 weeks I have lost 4kg. In last two weeks my upper back is hurting me badly and today coughing. Lung cancer?? ex smoker

Chest X-Ray.: People your age (38) do get lung cancer, although it is unusual. But your symptoms are concerning for other things, including pneumonia or infection. With sudden weight loss, cough, and upper back pain, you need to see a doctor for an examination. Soon. Your doctor will probably order a chest X-ray. Don't let fear of cancer keep you from going in! Let us know what your doctor says. Feel better! ...Read more