Surprising First Symptom of Lung Cancer?

Recent research shows that longtime smokers often present a similar symptom before their cancer is diagnosed: They spontaneously quit smoking with little effort. Researchers speculate that sudden cessation may be a symptom of lung cancer.

Most patients who quit did so before noticing any symptoms of cancer, according to the study, which was published in the March issue of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology (JTO), the official monthly journal of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC).

Researchers found that 48 percent of the lung cancer patients they included in the study shared this experience. For comparison, researchers also interviewed patients with prostate cancer and those who had suffered a heart attack: The median interval between quitting smoking and lung cancer diagnosis was 2.7 years, compared with 24.3 years for prostate cancer and 10 years for a heart attack.

“It is widely known that many lung cancer patients have stopped smoking before diagnosis,” said Dr. Barbara Campling, professor in the Department of Medical Oncology at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. “This observation is often dismissed, by saying that these patients must have quit because of symptoms of their cancer. However, we found that the majority of lung cancer patients who stopped smoking before diagnosis quit before the onset of symptoms. Furthermore, they often quit with no difficulty, despite multiple previous unsuccessful quit attempts. This has led us to speculate that, in some cases, spontaneous smoking cessation may be an early symptom of lung cancer.”

The researchers suggest that spontaneous smoking cessation may be caused by tumor secretion of a substance interfering with nicotine addiction.

How to Quit Smoking

There are a number of herbs that can help you kick nicotine addiction:

Lobelia
Is a very powerful herb that helps to calm the mind and relax the body. It has helped many people to control their cravings for nicotine. Lobelia is also reputed to have the effect of making cigarettes taste very bad.

St. John’s wort
One of the best known herbs for promoting a positive mental attitude–something people often need help with during the early phases of becoming a non-smoker.

Black cohosh
Is commonly used by women to help them stay balanced during their monthly cycle. However, it is also known to be a safe sedative that relieves nervousness and anxiety, which makes it useful for the irritability, restlessness, and nervousness associated with quitting smoking.

For more on these and other herbs that will help, see the rest Herbs to Help Stop Smoking. If a loved one is addicted, read How to Get Someone to Stop Smoking Without Hating You.

Related:
Symptoms of Six Common Cancers
What Causes Cancer?

333 comments

Lorraine Andersen

I quit about 15 years ago. Still here, but I am sure it is not the same for everyone.

Kimmy H.
Kimmy H.1 years ago

Interesting.

l.r perry
l.r perry2 years ago

This just seems anecdotal.

John chapman
John chapman2 years ago

Whenever I see young people smoking.

I have to fight the urge to run up, & slap the cigarette out of their mouths.

Don Swanz
Don Swanz2 years ago

CINDI S: Wow! Despite the fact, that you are not yet dead, does this mean that you are now satisfied? Don and I CAN! :-))

Kamia T.
Kamia T.2 years ago

My mother was a very heavy smoker, and refused to quit, until her doctor basically advised her to do so or die. Sometimes that what it takes to hit bottom. However, I also know of two other close friends who refused to do, no matter what, and DID die. Addiction of any kind is so sad.

Fi T.
Fi T.2 years ago

Doing no more harm to yourself, the human

Ela V.
Ela V.2 years ago

When I quit smoking it was also spontaneously with little effort... and ... still alive...

Cindi S.
Cindi s.2 years ago

So stopping smoking is a sign of lung cancer? I quit 32 years ago. Hello? I'm still here.