Saturday, March 5, 2011

Quitting smoking can be a warning sign of lung cancer

A fascinating study in the March Journal of Thoracic Oncology lends weight to something many of us physicians have long suspected: people who quit smoking after many years may be doing so in response to an early lung cancer, often long before they have symptoms. Here in our low-resource clinic, we already worry more about lung cancer in symptomatic patients who have a history of having randomly quit smoking in the last few years. That little point of history doesn't replace diagnostics, but it does raise our suspicions. This study suggests we have good reason.

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