Smoking has been implicated as a causative factor in many different forms of cancer. Smoking is linked to many primary diseases, such as cancer and respiratory diseases . For example, 1/3rd of all bladder cancers are caused due to smoking. Several attempts are being taken by members of the scientific community to sensitize individuals to the ill effects associated with the habit and to help curb the same.
A new study conducted on cancer patients has now revealed that, nothing not even cancer can help smokers quit. Nearly one half of all cancer patients continue the habit or relapse after trying to quit. These patients were explained about the disastrous effects of smoking on the effectiveness of cancer treatment, overall survival rate, risk of developing other cancers, and quality of life.
The study also points out to the underutilization of the smoking cessation concept in the management of cancer. Infact, in most of the cases, the physicians often fail to advise smokers to quit.
Previous studies had demonstrated that a diagnosis of cancer would serve as a strong indicator for seeking treatment for smoking addiction. This however has been largely found to depend upon personal motivation from the smoker. In addition, healthy non-smokers are often pointed to as a good example that dilutes the whole process.
Researchers from the University of Texas reviewed the scientific literature to provide a comprehensive overview of smoking cessation and cancer, in particular, guidelines and evidence-based treatment for smoking addiction. It was clearly evident from the literature that individuals who stopped smoking had a superior treatment outcome in terms of the survival rate, incidence of side effects and quality of life compared to those who continued to smoke.
The diagnosis of cancer poses a significant challenge to the application of smoking cessation guidelines, as it is associated with complex physical and emotional changes within the person affected. Furthermore, other factors such as concomitant diseases and the clinical condition of the patients have to be taken into consideration while deciding upon treatment.
The following recommendations have been put forward by the committee. Only individuals diagnosed with smoking related cancers are being targeted. This approach should soon change. Moreover, it should be remembered that the attending physician can have a significant impact on smoking cessation rates. The smoking cessation strategies should be put to use immediately following diagnosis for effective results.
Attempts should be initiated to identify hindering factors for smoking cessation on a subjective basis. More studies have to be conducted on patients with non-smoking-related cancers as well.