However, reported the researchers, quitting by age 45 reduces this risk by 89%, while for those who quit before they are 35, the risk is completely eliminated. On the other hand, quitting between ages 45-54 still reduces the risk by a significant 78%, while doing so between ages 55-64 cuts it by 56%.
The research team found that similarly, the age of smoking initiation also has an impact on cancer risk. People who started smoking before age 18 had at least three times the risk of dying from cancer, while those who started before age 10 had four times the risk.
Tobacco use behavior following a cancer diagnosis
Another recent study published in Annals of Internal Medicine, found that quitting smoking following a lung cancer diagnosis may prevent cancer recurrence and extend life. Titled, “Postdiagnosis Smoking Cessation and Reduced Risk for Lung Cancer Progression and Mortality,” the study was conducted by researchers from the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the specialized cancer agency of the World Health Organization, in collaboration with the N.N. Blokhin National Medical Research Centre of Oncology in Russia. The research team recruited 517 current adults who were current smokers when they were diagnosed with early-stage non-small cell lung cancer from 2 sites in Moscow, Russia.
At the start of the study the participants were interviewed to determine medical and lifestyle history, including tumor characteristics, and their tobacco use patterns. Each participant was followed each year for an average of 7 years in a bid to record any changes in their smoking behavior.
Of 517 lung cancer patients who were smokers when diagnosed, less than half quit (44.5%), and very few relapsed. The patients who quit smoking were more likely to live longer overall (6.6 years vs. 4.8. years), live longer without lung cancer (5.7 vs. 3.9 years) and have their disease progress at a slower rate (7.9 vs. 6 years).
In light of these findings, the research team concluded that quitting smoking after being diagnosed with early-stage non-small cell lung cancer may slow disease progression and decrease mortality.
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