The Last Furlong

Comments on the race of life.

Doing the cancer maths – smoking


The screening of 264 high-risk individuals within a 150-mile radius of Augusta found 3 percent had lung cancer and 75 percent of those were caught early, said Dr. Carsten Schroeder, thoracic oncology surgeon at the Georgia Cancer Center and Medical College of Georgia at AU. The researchers note that a percentage of the patients presenting at screening had early symptoms, like a persistent cough, so the rate of cancer detection in patients who showed no indication of disease was 2.2 percent, still double the rates of previous studies. Link

I’m just doing the math – we are told smoking kills 50% of smokers. And lung cancer will carry you offin some kind of coffin pretty quick if you smoke.

The average age of the 264 smokers that were screened in the study was 60 yrs.

3% had lung cancer  = 7.92 (say 8 smokers) had lung cancer and 6 were caught early.

Tobacco Control tells us that 50% of smokers die from smoking related diseases.

So 132 smokers are going to die of other stuff – except for the 8 with lung cancer. And some of them will be saved.

Now, that to me, seems strange. We are fed lung cancer, lung cancer, lung cancer by the smoking fear merchants. Smoking causes lung cancer.

But this study was not done by the anti-smoking industry.

S0 what am I missing or is Tobacco Control telling us porkies?

Author: thelastfurlong

I'm someone also pounding the Path, just like you.. I'm retired, going into Old Age and loving my life. I'm hoping to remain happy and well for as long as possible. Old Age is not SO bad - yet!

7 thoughts on “Doing the cancer maths – smoking

  1. The researchers note that a percentage of the patients presenting at screening had early symptoms, like a persistent cough,

    On occasion I cough up an alarming amount of blood for a few days, yet all battery of tests show my lungs are ‘fine’ . They don’t know what I have and I have gotten past caring…it makes smoking my 40-60 a day a bit difficult during those rare bouts but I have in my 30 years of being a smoker conquered several obstacles to my tobacco enjoyment.

    So I’m pretty sure that ‘had early symptoms’ should probably read (and no doubt did read until the Political Officer got hold of it) ‘*possible* early symptoms.

    One of the reasons that pretty much all cancers tend to only get diagnosed late, often too late, is that the ‘early symptoms’ are the same as for a myriad of other conditions and as in my own case even a fairly ‘definite’ late symptom can be something else entirely.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So what have you got? Medically speaking? Do you have a blog not written since 2013?


      • Yes I have a couple of ‘dead’ blogs but no active ones, although I guest post on Granddad’s atm.

        They don’t know what I have, I just cough up egg cupfuls of blood for a couple of days (until perhaps the broken blood vessel in my throat heals ) and then a week or so later bring up large, and i do mean large, baby fist large, lumps of ‘rotten’ blackish blood that has congealed in my lungs.

        My best guess is I am allergic to some respiratory irritant like oxygen. It is usually a sign I have been smoking tobacco without enough Vit N in it.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Actually the 3% number makes sense within their normal stats. “Early” LC would be LC just two or three or at most five years before becoming symptomatic. The average age was 60. But I believe most lung cancers are found after age 65, or even after age 70 (I may be wrong on that… but that’s my memory of the stats.) If that memory is true, then the ultimate count among lifelong smokers (the defined “high risk” individuals were probably all lifelong and moderately heavy smokers) would be up around 10% or maybe 15% for an individual living to age 85 or more. And I think that’s about the figure that’s claimed.

    The other 35 or 40% of smokers that supposedly die of “tobacco related diseases” are ones that die slightly earlier than average of just about anything that can be claimed to be related to smoking — CHD, COPD, infected hangnails etc.

    The only moderately solid figures are the ones for lung cancer and advanced COPD since everything else occurs widely among both smokers and nonsmokers. SOME of the studies and claims will be more honest than others, but they all involve a lot of assumptions and soft statistics and none of them of course can make any solid predictions about where medical science will be just 15 or 20, much less 30 or 50, years from now.

    The whole “Billion Lives” theme of the Vapers, although understandable as a catchy marketing title for the film, is no more honest really than the Antismokers’ claims that the number is derived from: It’s based on the assumption that ALL medical science and advances freezes IMMEDIATELY at the current level and STAYS there for the next hundred years. Nonsense of course, but it’s lie the Antismokers have used for decades and now it’s coming back to bite them when they try to gun down the Vapers.

    – MJM, who’s hoping this interesting and longish post meets a better fate than his immediately prior attempts to post on near death experiences here! :>


Please do comment! That's part of the fun...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s