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To think that giving up smoking can actually CAUSE cancer

118 replies

merrywidow · 27/03/2011 20:11

Have seen several people give up smoking then develop lung / throat cancer.

spoke to a friend, she says the same of someone she knows.

A cell biologist I met actually asked if my H who died of lung cancer had given up smoking, I said he had a couple of years previously, then nodded sagely.

I googled the subject and found a docs forum where they actually discussed it; the thought was that as the body heals the cells then don't know when to stop dividing and go into overdrive becoming cancerous.

OP posts:
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Georgimama · 27/03/2011 21:36

Mamzon, sorry about your dad. My MIL has finally been forced to give up in similar circumstances. Unbelievably, her husband is still smoking. His wife spending Christmas in intensive care still isn't enough to make him stop.

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SoupDragon · 27/03/2011 21:38

My grandmother gave up smoking in her 50s having smoked for many years and died, aged 99, cancer free.

I don't think the theory in the OP is a good reason not to give up.

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CatIsSleepy · 27/03/2011 21:43

jareth, you don't need pubmed, google scholar is just as good

this article might shed some light

here

first author is Richard Doll, the eminent epidemiologist who linked smoking with lung cancer
it's conclusions
'People who stop smoking, even well into middle age, avoid most of their subsequent risk of lung cancer, and stopping before middle age avoids more than 90% of the risk attributable to tobacco. Mortality in the near future and throughout the first half of the 21st century could be substantially reduced by current smokers giving up the habit. In contrast, the extent to which young people henceforth become persistent smokers will affect mortality rates chiefly in the middle or second half of the 21st century.'

actually i tend to believe richard doll rather than a bunch of docs gabbing on a forum

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Sassybeast · 27/03/2011 21:52

Georgie - the level of denials amongst smokers is staggering - lung cancer or COPD won't happen to them or it's nowhere near as bad as people make it out to be Hmm

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RumourOfAHurricane · 27/03/2011 21:52

Message withdrawn

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CatIsSleepy · 27/03/2011 21:58

should have added this bit from the results too

'By 1990 cessation had almost halved the number of lung cancers that would have been expected if the former smokers had continued. For men who stopped at ages 60, 50, 40, and 30 the cumulative risks of lung cancer by age 75 were 10%, 6%, 3%, and 2%.'

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5inthebed · 27/03/2011 22:30

Mamazon, I am so very sorry to hear about your dad. I cannot begin to understand how hard it must be to see him like this.

Op, FIL's cancer was very very fast from dx to his passing away was nearly 5 weeks. I was there when he died, having nursed him all day long as Dh and his family were so overcome. He gave up smoking so he could be around his grandchildren more, he absolutely doted on them and never got to meet DS3, although he did get to know I was pregnant as found out the week before he died.

CatisSleepy, I do think he had cancer well before he was dx. If you read my post, itis DH who thinks that his dad would still be here is he hadn't given up smoking. FIl was the sort of man who never went to the doctors, regardless of how he was feeling.

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JarethTheGoblinKing · 27/03/2011 22:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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CatIsSleepy · 27/03/2011 22:43

jareth, ok, just thought not everyone might know who he was! was not aiming my explanation at you in particular...

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Sidge · 27/03/2011 22:44

Smokers are far more likely to get COPD than lung cancer.

COPD may not kill you but will probably make you feel like you want to die. It is one of the most disabling and debilitating chronic diseases we see.

Mamazon I'm so sorry about your dad. That's the sad reality of smoking damage - COPD and an awful end of life process, worse in many ways than cancer Sad

Smokers have some very warped beliefs to perpetuate their smoking behaviour - giving up smoking will not give you cancer, cause you acute stress or make you ill.

Smokers can feel worse before they feel better when they do quit - the cilia lining the airways grow back and attempt to waft all the tar out of the lungs, causing a persistent productive cough. They can become constipated, as nicotine is a stimulant and so artificically stimulates the bowel without nicotine the bowel can become sluggish. They can gain weight, get headaches, feel nauseous and be irritable and suffer modd swings.

All of these are transient and will pass. Quitting smoking will ALWAYS benefit your health; sadly for some that quit they may not be well enough to benefit for any length of time.

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JarethTheGoblinKing · 27/03/2011 23:11

No, thanks for the link. Tbh... that's rye only explanation this thread needs..:-)

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anonymosity · 28/03/2011 04:10

OP you speaks utter utter twaddly twaddle.

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wormwoodbush · 26/12/2014 05:09

My DH has a theory that quitting smoking causes cancer because cancer thrives on oxygen and smoking deprives cells of oxygen, so when you quit you provide oxygen to damaged cells causing cancer to develop. It's just a theory, but I'd love to do a study on the subject. If only I was still working and could! I'm not trying to provoke emotive responses from people and I'd appreciate if you could refrain from comments calling the theory foolish or stupid. It's just a theory. I find it interesting and started googling to see what I could find, hence how I ended up here.

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wormwoodbush · 26/12/2014 05:18

Gorgimama, where did you get your info regarding alcohol being the only addiction in which quitting can kill you? The same is also true for many drugs, incl heroin. There are many prescription drugs that the body becomes dependent on (physically addicted, not mentally so) that abrupt withdrawal can and will kill you. Many SSRI and SNRI antidepressants fall into this category, although not traditionally addictive in the regular sense of the term, but the body does develop dependence on them.

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TanteRose · 26/12/2014 05:28

worm, this is a zombie thread from 2011 - you might not get a response from Gorgimama or the other posters....

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Morrigu · 26/12/2014 05:41

Hmmm..I had HPV for a couple of years, cue much colpocospies and lasering. Gave up smoking, within six months my body and immune system had a fighting chance and the HPV was gone.

Can kinda see where the theory may come from even though I don't agree.

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Morrigu · 26/12/2014 05:43

Xmas Grin that'll teach me to look at dates

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GuybrushThreepwoodMP · 26/12/2014 06:41

Sorry about your H OP. My dad has throat cancer caused by smoking. He never gave up. Last week he had his whole voice box removed as the tumour was too large to treat any other way. He now can't talk and breathes through a hole in his neck permanently. Advanced cancer like this has grown over a long period. Don't know if giving up smoking can cause cancer- it sounds plausible that it could- but carrying on definitely can. I guess there isn't a good option for a long term smoker. Statistically I would imagine giving up is going to give you a better chance. Wish my dad had given up.

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GuybrushThreepwoodMP · 26/12/2014 06:52

And if anyone is wondering, the state my dad is in in absolutely horrifying. He's 59. I can barely look at him. He has been mutilated. His voice has gone forever and he gets so angry and frustrated trying to communicate with us. His chest rattles as he draws in breath through a hole in the front of his neck. If he coughs, his chest barks and it comes through the hole. He has been nil by mouth for 2 weeks and that will continue for more weeks. When he can eat, he won't taste anything much and has no sense of smell. It is disgusting and I love him so much but I also hate him for doing this to himself. I can't believe that this is how he is now. He didn't love us enough to stop this. I sometimes wish he had died during his surgery and I hate myself for thinking that because he is my dad and I love him so much.

Just in case anyone was wondering what not giving up smoking can lead to.

I was a smoker too until 4 years ago. Never again. Couldn't do this to my daughter.

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Inertia · 26/12/2014 08:23

Sorry OP, I think your thread title is completely wrong - you've got your cause and effect the wrong way round.

It should be phrased in terms of the onset of cancer (and accompanying symptoms of being terribly ill) often being the trigger for people to finally give up smoking, even before the cancer is diagnosed.

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MuscatBouschet · 26/12/2014 08:56

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fatlazymummy · 26/12/2014 09:25

Thanks for that link, Muscat. Very interesting.
I gave up nearly 10 years ago, after being a heavy ,very addicted smoker for most of 29 years. I started feeling healthier within days, and love being a non smoker now. I want to encourage anyone who is thinking of quitting to do it.
My sympathy goes to Guybrush and everyone else who has to watch their loved ones suffer from smoking related illnesses.

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MinceSpy · 26/12/2014 09:31

In my family there are no smokers yet we have lost two members to lung cancer.

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fatlazymummy · 26/12/2014 09:41

Mincespy sorry to hear that. 15% of lung cancers are not smoking related.
I just want to point that out , because there's a lot of blame attatched to lung cancer, as if it's 'self inflicted'.
Personally ,I think it's time we start to aim for a 'smoke free' society, though a lot of progress has already been made.
It's shocking to think how normal smoking used to be, and how so many people are paying the price now, 30 or 40 years down the line.

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bestmunchkinsever · 26/12/2014 11:10

when I was quitting I joined a forum and on there was a man who was diarying his quit journey. A few months after quitting he was diagnosed with lung cancer. I had heard you theory before but thought that the link was perhaps more simple. That those who quit after many years smoking may do so because they already sense they are I'll subconsciously and this leads them to quit - with an inevitable diagnosis shortly after. The cancer must already be there to get a diagnosis so soon after quitting. I think, anyway.

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