I’m a smoker who worries about lung cancer. How long will it take for my lungs to heal after I quit?

For an answer, we turned to Tom Lynch, M.D., director of Yale Cancer Center and physician-in-chief of Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven. Dr. Lynch is a world-renowned expert in lung cancer and the development of novel therapies. He writes:

“The good news is that your risk of cardiovascular (heart and vessels) disease decreases to that of a non-smoker about a year after quitting.  Your risk of lung cancer takes longer to reach that of a non-smoker (25-30 years), and depends upon the age of the patient and the amount of cigarettes smoked. Finally, the good news is that further damage to the lungs that can lead to emphysema and bronchitis stops as soon as you stop smoking.”




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