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Q. I used Cannabis in my teenage. Am I at a risk of having cancer?

Answered by
Dr. Rakesh Mittal
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on May 28, 2016 and last reviewed on: Mar 21, 2020

Hello doctor,

When I was in my late teens, I was engaged in a lot of high cancer risk activities. The one I have been most worried about was using Cannabis. The Cannabis itself does not worry me too much. Although, we occasionally had access to papers being teens and also not the smartest we inevitably utilized plastic bottles to create make shift bongs or waterfall pipes with aluminum foil bowls. I know that using a flame anywhere near plastic should be considered a cancer risk and I am sure the heated smoke coming into the container released some kind of BPA like chemical. At one time I even used a beer can, which even at 17 that seemed like a bad idea, but I was drunk and who cares about your long term health. Now I am 27 and just graduated. I am at that point where I know I am not invincible. So, have I all but guaranteed myself a cancer diagnosis down the line? I had this risk factor for around two to three years at which point I left to my college. Would this be on par with a couple of decades of smoking or much more worse? Any assistance or information would be greatly appreciated.

Dr. Rakesh Mittal

Child Health Medical Oncology Paediatrics


Welcome to

  • Teens at that age indulge in many experimental things. I am not surprised at what you did.
  • The question is whether your indulgence has put you at more risk of cancer? The answer is we do not now.
  • With the available evidence we know smoking increases the chance of cancer. But, but I am not sure whether your kind of smoking for few years has increased your chance of getting cancer.
  • Personally, I do not think you are at very much increased risk. But, now onwards stay away from this stuff. Lead a healthy lifestyle.
  • There is no screening which can be performed on you for any early detection of cancer in your case.
  • Meet any oncologist for physical evaluation if you are very much concerned. Just enjoy your life.

For further doubts consult a medical oncologist online -->

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