Medical Specialty >> Oncology

Doctors Lounge - Oncology Answers

Back to Oncology Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge ( does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

Date of last update: 10/21/2017.

Forum Name: Miscellaneous Cancer Topics

Question: Tobacco causing immediate cancer - is it possible?

 phillyeagles - Fri Dec 08, 2006 5:56 pm

I received a response previously to my personal situation but I was just wondering in general is it possible to develop cancer as an immediate (within a week) reaction to a tobacco product. Are you at immediate health risk if you use a tobacco product only once or twice?
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Sat Dec 09, 2006 2:52 am

User avatar Hello,

A person's increased risk of contracting disease is directly proportional to the length of time that a person continues to smoke as well as the amount smoked.

For example, the risk for lung cancer that results from smoking cigarettes is quantified in “pack-years.” One in seven people who smoke more than two packs per day die from lung cancer. The incidence of death from lung cancer starts increasing above the incidence from the nonsmoking population at 10 pack-years.

However, if someone stops smoking, then these chances gradually decrease as the damage to their body is repaired. This approaches, but does not quite reach, that of nonsmokers after 15 years of abstinence for those who smoked for less than 20 years.

Another thing is that cancer is made up of individual cancer cells. For cancer to develop into a clinically apparant cancer it has to have been present for months if not years in some conditions.

So the simple answer is no that's not possible.

Best regards,

| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us