Lung Cancer Patients Fail to Quit Smoking After Diagnosis
More than a third of lung cancer patients still smoke cigarettes, a new study from Massachusetts General Hospital has found. According to the New York Daily News, researchers found that 39 percent of surveyed lung cancer patients were smokers when tumors were first discovered but after treatment, began, the number dropped only to 14 percent. That means that more than a third of smokers continued smoking after their diagnosis.
“It’s an addiction,” explained lead researcher Elyse Park, a psychologist at the hospital. “I don’t think everyone is able to quit cold turkey.”
Park and her colleagues followed more than 5,000 patients throughout their time with lung cancer in order to reach their conclusions. They also surveyed people with colon cancer, and found that less than half of colon cancer patients quit lighting up after their diagnosis.
Park said that most cancer patients actually try to kick the habit, but ultimately fail due to other smokers in the home or using the wrong smoking-cessation method.
“Some people are fatalistic,” she added, referencing those patients who believe that because they are going to die, there is no need to quit smoking.
That isn’t true, however. The New York Daily News reported that smoking can make chemotherapy and radiation less effective and surgery more complicated.
The study was published Monday by the American Cancer Society.