Answered by: Dr Ramzdhan
Dr, I have quit smoking a month ago. Been smoking for more than 40 years already. This decision was made because my daughter just gave birth and she wont allow me to hold my grandchild bcos of my bad body odour. But I realised my weight is reducing in the past 3 months. Could this be cancer or something?
Thank you for coming forward with the question and I would to commend you on quitting cigarettes. You have made the right decision as smoking cigarettes is a risk factor to a lot of diseases. You have been smoking for a long time. It is understandable for your daughter to feel uncomfortable as smoking affects everyone around including her new born.
Quitting smoking allows your lungs to get stronger and better blood flow. The risk of a heart attack also gets lower. Within one year, the risk of getting a heart attack becomes half of what it was a year ago. Smelling better is also a benefit of quitting. It also prevents harm to others that may happen via second hand smoke.
The loss of weight combined with chronic smoking can be attributed to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or lung cancer. In COPD, there is less air flows through the airway. It consists of chronic bronchitis and emphysema. The airways become thick and inflamed due to smoking.
The symptoms include smoker’s cough that is nagging, shortness of breath on physical activity, wheezing, blue lips and weight loss. This can be treated by quitting smoking and therapies such as oxygen and inhaler. Smoking cigarettes also is the number one risk factor of lung cancer as 80 to 90% of death due to lung cancer is among smokers. Tobacco smoke contains more than 7000 chemicals and some of them are carcinogenic.
If there is a family history of lung cancer, your chances of having it becomes higher. Symptoms include cough with blood, difficulty in breathing and massive weight loss. I recommend that you consult a doctor to determine the problem so that it can be diagnosed on time and get treated.
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