Health Tips

What are the benefits if smoking is discontinued …?

Q: What are the benefits when one quits smoking?

A: When smoking is discontinued, within an hour, blood pressure and pulse become normal and stable. Risk of heart attack is lowered in 24 hours. In one year, cough, breathing problem and fatigue, all these problems are lessened. In ten years, risk of heart diseases is halved. Risk of lung cancer decreases to a great extent. Risk of block in arteries and cancer of the mouth, throat, food-pipe, urinary bladder and kidneys comes down greatly.

Smoking is tried at the early ages for the sake of thrill, but in course of time, it becomes a habit which eventually takes over the person and makes him an addict. Smoking is the cause for 40% of the cancer cases in our country. If smoking is given up totally, most of the diseases can be prevented, says cancer specialist Dr. Ramanathan. Smoking is the main cause for lung cancer. This type of cancer is more prevalent among habitual smokers and long-time smokers. It has been found that out of the lung cancer patients, 87% are smokers. Of the total deaths due to various types of cancers, be it a man or a woman, lung cancer tops the list as the cause for death. In the ten years after discontinuation of smoking, the risk of lung cancer decreases by 50%.

Q: what are the symptoms of lung cancer?

A: Continuous coughing, pain at the chest, shoulders and back not only during coughing but also throughout, the problem extending beyond two weeks, excess phlegm and loss of weight are the symptoms for lung cancer. Change in the color of the phlegm or blood with phlegm, frequent occurrence of pneumonia or other respiratory tract-related problems, lack of appetite, edema in neck or face are also symptoms. The success rate of treatment depends on the severity of the disease, like how deep the cancer has spread. During surgery, the affected part of the lung or the affected side is fully removed. Then radiation and chemotherapy are given. In the situation in which surgery is not required or cannot be done, radiation and chemotherapy alone are done. Oral cancer is very commonly prevalent in India. 90% of the patients happen to be smokers or tobacco-chewers.

Now, let us see what the symptoms of oral cancer are. Presence of chronic sores on the lips or inside the mouth, lumps on the lips, mouth or throat, white or red patches on the gums or tongue or on the inner portion of the mouth are the initial symptoms of oral cancer. Pain in mouth, bleeding, numbness and feeling of some blockade in the throat are also symptoms of oral cancer. Pain while chewing food, difficulty in swallowing, edema in the chin leading to non-alignment of dentures are also symptoms for oral cancer. After surgery is done, radiation and chemotherapy are given. In India, patients approach the doctor only when the disease reaches the advanced stage. At this stage, radiation treatment alone is given. Smoking, use of Pan Parag and tobacco also can cause oral cancer.