Tobacco Cessation

Smoking is responsible for a number of chronic conditions like Emphysema. Let us help you in your journey towards quitting this habit. Call our Office or Request An Appointment Online Today!
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Leaders in Providing Comprehensive Pulmonary Care and Sleep Medicine Services, All Under One Roof, for patients in and around Altoona, PA

Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in America. Roughly 70 percent of Americans who smoke say they want to quit, yet only 6 percent succeed each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Smoking can cause permanent damage to the lungs, meaning patients may never achieve normal adult lung volumes and function. Additionally, cases of lung cancer are rapidly rising due to rampant active and passive smoking.

The Lung Disease Foundation of Central Pennsylvania, located in the Lung Disease Center, is designated by the American Lung Association as the Tobacco Control Service Provider for Blair and Bedford Counties in Pennsylvania.  This designation accompanies a grant and resources available to anyone in Blair or Bedford Counties for tobacco prevention, education, and cessation to businesses, multi-unit housing, and municiaplities, as well as programs free of charge, such as the Freedom From Smoking Program which provides a comprehensive seven week, 8 session program, to participants who wish to address their nicotine addiction and assist them in forming a quit plan, including free nicotine replacement therapy.  More detail, including podcasts about these resources, are available online or by calling the Lung Disease Foundation at 814-946-2845. 

Timely cancer detection is a critical step toward saving lives, but it's only part of the challenge. Though patients diagnosed early fare better than those diagnosed late, half of them still suffer hard-to-treat recurrences. To learn more about the Lung Cancer Early Detection Program, and to discuss your treatment and cessation options with our team, call the Lung Disease Center of Central Pennsylvania, 814-946-2845 or book an appointment online!

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What are the Diseases Associated with Smoking?

Tobacco causes a range of diseases, as well as worsen existing chronic conditions. Examples of conditions linked to tobacco use include:

  • Lung Cancer
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Heart disease and stroke
  • Asthma
  • Diabetes
  • Blindness, Cataracts and Age-Related Macular Degeneration
  • Colon, Cervix, Liver, Stomach and Pancreatic Cancer

While smoking is most recognized for its role in causing cancer, smoking can also make it harder for patients to safely undergo surgery or recover from a serious injury. Additionally, smoking affects the fertility of both men and women, and contributes to the risk of complication during pregnancy.

 

Who Needs Early Lung Cancer Screenings?

Screening for individuals at high risk has the potential to dramatically improve lung cancer survival rates by finding the disease at an earlier stage when it is more likely to be curable. That’s why individuals who are at a high risk for lung cancer are encouraged to sign up for our facility’s Lung Cancer Early Detection Program (EDP). High risk individuals include: 

  • any current smokers, age 55 to 79, with a 30-pack-year smoking history (i.e. smoking a pack a day for 30 years, two packs per day for 15 years, or some other combination) 
  • any previous smokers, ages 55 to 79, with at least 30 pack-years of tobacco use and who quit less than 15 years ago
  • any people over 50 with a history of smoking who have an underlying lung condition

As part of our early screening program, CT scans are used to pick up operable tumors earlier and more accurately. Early detection by low-dose CT screening can decrease lung cancer mortality by 14 to 20 percent among high-risk populations. That’s because, statistically speaking, about 81 percent of the lung tumors detected through CT screening can be successfully removed at early stages. As a result, 96 percent of the treated patients are still alive eight years later.

 

If I Quit Smoking, Do I Still Need to Check for Lung Cancer?

Yes! Quitting doesn't completely negate the genetic damage that tobacco smoke causes in lung tissue, so former smokers will remain more vulnerable to disease than nonsmokers. If you smoked a pack a day for 20 years or more, you have a 50 percent chance of dying from a smoking-related disease. 

While a history of smoking will always increase the risk of cancer somewhat, the good news is that the risk declines markedly as healthy cells replace damaged ones in an ex-smoker's lungs. After 10 years of abstinence, a quitter is only half as vulnerable as someone who continues to smoke.

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