Seated in the heart of Lung Cancer Awareness Month—on the third Thursday of November, to be precise—is the Great American Smokeout, established and led by the American Cancer Society. The designated day is designed to encourage smoking Americans to make plans to quit or quit on that day in order to improve overall health and decrease the risk of lung disease, especially lung cancer.
As it currently stands, lung cancer is the second most common cancer in both men and women and the leading cause of cancer death. Smoking is the number one cause of this cancer, as well as a multitude of other health problems.
People who smoke know that there are a number of different ways smoking negatively impacts the body, but what they may not know is the details about how quitting can positively affect it almost immediately. Let’s take a look at some of the ways your body improves over time after taking your last drag.
20 minutes: Your blood pressure and pulse will return to normal, and your hands and feet become warmer.
Eight hours: By the end of the workday, there will be about half the amount of carbon monoxide and nicotine in your blood. As a result, there will be more oxygen in your body.
24 hours: After one full day without cigarettes, you will have radically lowered your odds of having a heart attack.
48 hours: After two days, your sense of smell and taste will improve exponentially. Additionally, your lungs will begin to clean themselves out and you might cough up mucus.
It’s worth noting, however, that the 48-hour mark is about when you’ll hit withdrawal symptoms such as hunger, headaches and depression. These symptoms are temporary, and the health benefits far outweigh the discomfort.
Two weeks to three months: You will be able to exercise more without becoming tired or winded and will have officially made it through the hardest part of the withdrawal phase.
One year: You will be significantly healthier than you were one year ago and have cut your risk of heart disease in half!
Five years: You cut your risk of the following cancers in half:
In addition, your risk of developing cervical cancer and stroke becomes the same as that of a nonsmoker.
10 years: Your lung cancer death rate is approximately half that of an individual who is still smoking.
Don’t wait. Join the millions of others who are ready to overcome smoking by joining the Great American Smokeout today!
Consult a Lung Cancer Specialist
If you have recently had a scan, been diagnosed with lung cancer, or need a second opinion, our New Jersey-based team of specialists will help evaluate findings and devise a treatment plan that is right for you.
As the pioneers of video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS), our experts have decades of experience in minimally invasive surgical treatment and can provide our patients with helpful information on their conditions. Thoracic Group surgeons work in collaboration with a team of specialists, including oncologists, pulmonologists, radiologists, pathologists and nurse navigators to provide the most comprehensive care.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Thoracic Group today.