Lung Cancer: Smoking Out the Factors That Prevent Quitting
February 6, 2014

While it has been shown that the ability to quit smoking is strongly influenced by social pressures, it is unclear if this is true for those recently diagnosed with lung cancer. These people must cope with the added stress and fear from learning of their condition.
 
A recent study, co-led by Princess Margaret Cancer Centre Scientist Dr. Geoffrey Liu and Affiliate Scientist Dr. Wei Xu, enrolled lung cancer patients that were smokers at time of diagnosis with lung cancer. Using patient questionnaires, Drs. Liu and Xu explored whether exposure to second-hand smoke influenced their ability to quit. Results showed that second-hand smoke—originating either at home, or from a spouse or friends who smoke—made it less likely that the patient would quit. Furthermore, the most powerful effect was exerted by second-hand smoke originating in the home and from a spouse that smokes.
 
Dr. Liu elaborates, "Those who continue to smoke after being diagnosed with lung cancer suffer worse prognoses, increased chance of cancer recurrence and other complications. Thus, it is paramount that physicians begin to consider psychosocial factors, such as those explored in the current study, on cessation of smoking with the aim of developing new strategies to improve outcomes."
 
This work was supported by the Alan B. Brown Chair in Molecular Genomics, the Cancer Care Ontario Chair in Experimental Therapeutics and Population Studies, the Posluns Family Foundation, the Lusi Wong Early Detection of Lung Cancer Program, the Scott Taylor Chair in Lung Cancer Research, the OSI Pharmaceuticals Foundation Chair in New Cancer Drug Development, the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation and the COMBIEL Training Program.

Source: NRx, January 2014
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