Which of the following is the most accurate statement regarding this patients risk of developing lung cancer?
A 56-year-old man is worried about his risk of developing lung cancer. He has no medical problems, but he does report having smoked one pack of cigarettes a day for 4 years while in college. He stopped smoking more than 30 years ago.
A. It is equal to someone who has never smoked B. In any age group, the risk of developing lung cancer declines after stopping smoking C. The annual lung cancer mortality of smokers is 10 times that of nonsmokers D. His risk of developing lung cancer is only slightly greater than that of a nonsmoker
His risk of developing lung cancer is only slightly greater than that of a nonsmoker
Cigarette smoking continues to contribute to the risk of lung cancer long after a person has stopped smoking. The American Cancer Society evaluated this relationship in a 6-year prospective study involving more than 900,000 persons. This study included persons who had never smoked, current smokers, and former smokers. As expected, the risk of dying of lung cancer was lower in patients who had quit smoking early in life than in those who quit later on, and the risk was significantly lower in those who quit than in those who did not. In a person who smoked 26 cigarettes a day starting at 17 years of age and stopped smoking between the ages of 30 and 49, the risk of death from lung cancer is slightly greater than that of persons who never smoked. For a person who started smoking at 17 years of age and quit smoking between the ages of 50 and 64, the risk of death from lung cancer plateaus at the risk level at the time of quitting and remains level until about the age of 75, at which time the risk appears to increase further. In this model, the annual lung cancer mortality for current smokers at age 75 is 1% for men and 0.5% for women, which is approximately 20 times higher than that of nonsmokers.