Many still smoke after cancer diagnosis

Written by Health-e News

A substantial number of lung and colorectal cancer patients continue to smoke after being diagnosed with cancer, according to a new report published in CANCER.

The study provides valuable information on which cancer patients may need help to quit smoking.

According the study continuing smoking after a cancer diagnosis can negatively affect a patient’€™s response to treatment and possible recovery, and can ultimately raise their chance of death.

The study, led by Dr Elyse Park from Harvard Medical School in the United States, looked to see how many patients quit smoking around the time of their cancer diagnosis, and which smokers were most likely to quit. The researchers determined smoking rates around the time of diagnosis and five months after diagnosis in 5338 lung and colorectal cancer patients. Colorectal cancer, commonly known as bowel cancer, is a cancer from uncontrolled cell growth in the colon, rectum, or appendix.

Substantial group

The research found that a substantial group of cancer patients continue to smoke. At the time of diagnosis, 39% of lung cancer patients and 14% of colorectal cancer patients were smoking. Five months later, 14% of lung cancer patients and 9% of colorectal cancer patients were still smoking.  And although lung cancer patients generally have higher smoking rates, colorectal cancer patients were less likely to quit smoking after diagnosis.

Other shared characteristics between patients, apart from their types of cancer, were also identified to help physicians pinpoint the type of individuals more likely to continue smoking after diagnosis.  

‘€œThese findings can help cancer clinicians identify patients who are at risk for smoking and guide tobacco counselling treatment development for cancer patients,’€ Dr Park said in a EurekAlert! report.

Source: EurekAlert!

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