Lung Cancer Patients Battle Addiction

Despite negative health consequences, nearly 20 percent of lung cancer patients continue to reach for their cigarettes while undergoing treatment.

It’s news such as this which underscores how hard it is for people to give up nicotine. The study, sponsored by the the U.S. National Cancer Institute, was recently published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

It could be that some patients believe there’s no hope for their prognosis. But continuing to smoke can thwart cancer treatments and their survival.

Lung cancer is the No. 1 cancer killer in the United States. Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer.

The study also found that 25 percent of people, sometimes family members, taking care of someone with lung cancer also have trouble quitting.

The earlier someone quits smoking, the more benefits they will see to their health. However, even people who quit smoking later in life can reduce their chances of getting lung cancer.

Once a person quits smoking, their body begins to heal, according to the American Cancer Society. They will immediately notice an improved sense of smell and taste and better-smelling breath. In just two weeks, the body’s circulation and lung function improves.

After one year of living smoke-free, the risk of having a heart attack drops. After two to five years, the risk of having a stroke is the same as that of a non-smoker. The longer someone abstains from smoking, the better their chances for not getting cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder and lung.

Sources: National Cancer Institute, American Cancer Society, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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