Together We Can -- Newsletter of the Joan Karnell Cancer Center

Winter 2008

Are You Living Well?
Message from the Administrator
Kicking the Habit
Reaching Out
How You Can Help
Recent Events
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Kicking the Habit

Lung cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among men and women in the United States. While many people are aware that smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer, few people realize it is also a risk factor for other cancers including mouth, voice box (larynx), throat (pharynx), esophagus, bladder, kidney, pancreas, cervix, stomach and some leukemias.

"Having a support system along with tools and resources greatly increases a person's chances of being able to successfully quit smoking," says William Duffy, MD, Internal Medicine, Pennsylvania Hospital.

Kicking the habit is difficult to do alone. If you or someone you care about wants to quit smoking, the Joan Karnell Cancer Center and the Respiratory Care Department of Pennsylvania Hospital can help through the Quit Smoking Program at Pennsylvania Hospital. The five-week program offers counseling and support to help overcome a smoking addiction.

For more information or to register, call Lisa Pasquarello, RRT, Smoking Cessation Coordinator, at 215-829-7467.

After Quitting...
Within 20 minutes of smoking that last cigarette, the body begins a series of changes that continue for years.

  • 20 minutes after quitting: Your heart rate and blood pressure drops.
  • 12 hours after quitting: The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
  • 2 weeks to 3 months after quitting: Your circulation improves and your lung function increases.
  • 1 to 9 months after quitting: Coughing and shortness of breath decrease; cilia (tiny hair-like structures that move mucus out of the lungs) regain normal function in the lungs, increasing the ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs and reduce the risk of infection.
  • 1 year after quitting: The excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker's.
  • 5 years after quitting: Your stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker 5 to 15 years after quitting.
  • 10 years after quitting: The lung cancer death rate is about half that of a continuing smoker's. The risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, cervix, and pancreas decrease.
  • 15 years after quitting: The risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non-smoker's.

Source: American Cancer Society


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