Sun Feb 17, 2019 | 13:37
Many lung cancer patients smoke
Mon, 11 Apr 2011 06:04:59 GMT
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About 18 percent of lung cancer victims and their family caregivers do not stop smoking despite that the habit may jeopardize recovery and deteriorate their conditions.

A study of 742 people suffering from cancer revealed that nearly one in five of lung cancer patients did not quit smoking cigarettes after being diagnosed even though knowing that the habit is the top cause of their disease.

Moreover, the findings published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Preventions showed that also a quarter of the caregivers (25 percent), usually middle-aged women or the patients' spouses, continued smoking.

In addition, among patients with colorectal cancer, which is not strongly associated with tobacco use, 12 percent of those who used to smoke continued their habit after the diagnosis.

A same pattern was seen among family caregivers of colorectal cancer patients. According to the data, 20 percent of those caring for these patients also continued smoking cigarette.

"The biggest obstacle is fatalism, the belief that it is too late to quit smoking so why bother," said lead author Kathryn E. Weaver from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, US.

However, if family caregivers see the cancer patient quit, they were more likely to quit themselves, Weaver added. But if either the patient or caregiver continues to smoke, it can trigger issues of guilt, stigma or blame.

The scientists warned that continued smoking increases the likelihood of developing a secondary cancer and can interfere with treatment while kicking off the habit could help the cancer victims survive longer and help them respond better to treatment and have a better quality of life.

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