There is "proof" out there today that suggests smoking is directly linked to cancer. I cannot argue against that, for the evidence in favor appears strong, and the evidence against is lacking. I'll happily sit here and agree that smoking increases the risk of cancer. This question, however, is not about how smoking increases the risk of cancer, rather how stopping smoking might increase the risk of cancer.
Consider what I know so far:
- Cancer is caused by mutant cell growth.
- Mutant cell growth is believed to be caused by chemicals in the smoke
- Smoking itself stunts growth, thus slowing the cell growth rate
If the growth stunt is severe enough that it will reduce the cell growth rate by 20%, one might assume this would take some weeks (let's say 8 weeks, sounds reasonable to me, though I lack knowledge of the subject) to recover. This will likely be some scale and will gradually decrease to somewhere near 0.
Further to this, the risk of cancer is not directly related to the lung, but it is believed to be caused by chemicals entering through the lung into the blood, and travelling around the body, causing cancer in various organs.
Consider that the cell growth is probably linked (in the lung, at least) to chemicals "surrounding" the existing cells, this explains why smokers run short of breath. This partially explains the growth stunt side of smoking. Perhaps this happens body-wide, I don't know.
Then consider what will happen when one stops smoking. The cell growth rate will begin to radically and unexpected increase as the growth stunt is suspended, meanwhile chemicals will still exist in the blood and organs which will be perverting cell growth causing mutant (cancerous) cells. At this point the body is unprepared and settled into its routine of slowly generating cells, but now it is generating them faster and is struggling to keep up. Energy is lacking in areas, and there is further cause of mutant cells to grow and even to be allowed.
Surely, given this reasoning, it might be understandable that stopping smoking increases the immediate risk of cancer, though reducing the long term risk?
Does anybody know, or can anybody find reasonable proof that any part of this argument is flawed? Is there any research to suggest that there is or is not an immediate increased risk? The one thing that people never mention in the side-effects of quitting is the risk of immediate body failure through a variety of means (I've known people to come with flu-like symptoms then find they have cancer weeks later). Is this really unexplored? Or is the nanny state trying to hide it from smokers to prevent them from damaging their health further?