The earlier on in life you stop smoking, the less at risk you are from developing some degree of lung cancer during your lifespan. However, it is difficult to predict exactly when and from what degree of lung cancer you may or may not suffer. Numerous factors need to be considered such as: the age when you began smoking, how long you smoked for, the number of cigarettes you smoked everyday, and how deeply you inhaled while smoking.
Cutting down smoking certainly helps cut the risk of developing lung cancer, but it is not the same as actually giving up all together. An ex-heavy smoker is more at risk of developing lung cancer than an ex-occasional smoker, who is still more at risk of developing the disease than someone who has never smoked before. When smoking is either cut down or stopped all together, the benefits to the body are almost immediate, showing that it is never too late to give-up smoking even after many years.
Statistics show that the risk of developing some degree of lung cancer for an active smoker, is between 10% and 15%. However, this is reduced considerably by between 70% and 80% once the smoker stops. The benefits to the body begin within the first 30 minutes of smoking the last cigarette, as the blood pressure lowers itself to a normal level, together with the carbon monoxide in the lungs.
Within the first 24 hours, the risk of having a heart attack reduces, and within 48 hours, the nerve endings begin to grow again. Both the ability to smell and taste also improve at this time. Between one month and three months, the blood circulation improves, and the lungs begin to function better. The worst of the nicotine symptoms also tend to subside during this period.
Within nine months, there is a noticeable improvement with problems such as: coughing, sinus congestion, fatigue, and shortness of breath. During the next five years, the bodies recuperation continues to improve at a noticeable rate, and the probability of a relapse is considerably less with time. Between five and ten years, the risk of a heart attack also reduces to nearly that of a non-smoker.
At the five to ten-year period, the risk of developing some degree of lung cancer drops to one-half of that of an active smoker, together with a reduction in the risk of developing cancers such as: mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney, and pancreas. Within 15 years, the risk of suffering a heart attack is about the same as that of a non-smoker, as is the risk of developing lung cancer.
Although the average bodies recuperation period takes up to 15 years before the risk of developing some degree of lung cancer reduces to that of a non-smoker, previous considerations must be take into account. It takes courage and determination to give up smoking, and a 15 year recuperation period really is worth the effort to bring down the risk of developing lung cancer to that of a non-smoker.