Can You Get Lung Cancer After Quitting Smoking?

  • Medical Author:
    George Schiffman, MD, FCCP

    Dr. Schiffman received his B.S. degree with High Honors in biology from Hobart College in 1976. He then moved to Chicago where he studied biochemistry at the University of Illinois, Chicago Circle. He attended Rush Medical College where he received his M.D. degree in 1982 and was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. He completed his Internal Medicine internship and residency at the University of California, Irvine.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Lung Cancer Slideshow

Ask the experts

I heard that you can still get lung cancer even if you stop smoking, is this true?

Doctor's response

It is true that when you stop smoking cigarettes you still carry an increased risk of developing lung cancer. People who stop smoking before age 50 cut their risk of dying in the next 15 years in half compared with those who continue to smoke. Ten years after quitting smoking, the lung cancer death rate is about half of a continuing smoker's.

However, the risk of other cancers, stroke, and coronary heart disease is also reduced when someone quits smoking, and in some cases is reduced to that of a non-smoker.

Medically reviewed by John A. Daller, MD; American Board of Surgery with subspecialty certification in surgical critical care

REFERENCE:

"Overview of the risk factors, pathology, and clinical manifestations of lung cancer"
UpToDate.com


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Reviewed on 6/8/2017

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