Smoking worsens chances of cancer patients to recover

September 12, 2019  21:25

Smoking is one of the leading causes of the development of many types of cancer, and smoking worsens the chances of recovery for those who are already sick. The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer has adopted a declaration calling on doctors to find out if their patients with lung cancer smoke, and if so, be sure to recommend that they quit this habit as soon as possible. 

According to it, cancer patients who continue to smoke after being diagnosed have a higher rate of overall mortality, cancer mortality, and the risk of developing a second primary cancer. In addition, they significantly increase the toxicity of cancer treatment. Smoking also significantly increases the cost of cancer treatment.

And giving up smoking, according to experts, leads to improved treatment outcomes. However, the problem is that smokers are not in a hurry to give it up: most people who smoked at the time of diagnosis still retain this habit during treatment.

The declaration makes a number of recommendations:

  • All cancer patients should be screened for tobacco use and advised on the benefits of tobacco cessation.
  • In patients who continue smoking after diagnosis of cancer, evidence-based tobacco cessation assistance should be routinely and integrally incorporated into multidisciplinary cancer care for the patients and their family members.
  • Educational programs regarding cancer management should include tobacco cessation training, empathetic communication around history of tobacco use and cessation and utilization of existing evidence- based tobacco cessation resources.
  • Smoking cessation counseling and treatment should be a reimbursable service.
  • Smoking status, both initially and during the study, should be a required data element for all prospective clinical studies.
  • Clinical trials of patients with cancer should consider designs that could also determine the most effective tobacco cessation interventions.

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