The answer is an overwhelming yes! I have heard that quitting smoking is a difficult task, one that can seem daunting amid the stress of a cancer diagnosis. Here are three reasons for quitting after a lung cancer diagnosis:
1. Quitting can raise the success of lung cancer surgery
Those that quit smoking prior to lung cancer surgery have better survival rates than those who continue to smoke.
2. Quitting can make treatment more effective
Patients who quit smoking during radiation therapy fair better than those who do not.
3. Quitting lowers the risk of death from other causes
Many people with lung cancer die from unrelated causes, such as heart disease. Several of these “other diseases” are also caused by smoking.
For those who want help quitting, About.com’s Guide to Smoking Cessation, Terry Martin, offers Your Quit Smoking ToolBox to get you started.
Nakamura, H. et al. Smoking Affects Prognosis after Lung Cancer Surgery. Surgery Today. 2008. 38(3):227-231.
Parsons, A. et al. Influence of smoking cessation after diagnosis of early-stage lung cancer on prognosis: systematic review of observational studies with meta-analysis. British Medical Journal BMJ2010:340:b5569. Published online 21 January 2010.
Rades, D. et al. Effect of Smoking During Radiotherapy, Respiratory Insufficiency, and Hemoglobin Levels on Outcome in Patients Irradiated for Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer. International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology and Physics. 2008. Feb 5(Epub ahead of time.)