Quitting smoking can improve cancer treatment

Learn how recent evidence shows that quitting smoking can make all types of cancer treatment more effective

In this January 2019 article in Hospital News, Dr. Craig Earle strongly encourages patients with cancer to stop smoking. While cigarettes may be a coping mechanism after receiving a cancer diagnosis, it is wise to quit smoking before treatment.

Dr. Earle draws on recent evidence that clearly shows quitting smoking can make all types of cancer treatment more effective, for all types of cancer.

Patients who smoke are more likely to have infections or problems with wound healing after cancer surgery. Smoking reduces oxygen levels in the blood, which makes radiotherapy less effective.

And for chemotherapy, chemicals in cigarette smoke can speed up the metabolism of cancer drugs, leading to lower effective doses.

What’s more, quitting smoking also lowers the chance of the cancer returning or another type of cancer developing.

Because of this recent evidence, cancer care providers are now routinely speaking with patients about quitting smoking and using tobacco cessation supports. Soon those supports will be more convenient for all cancer patients.

The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer is providing almost $2 million to support the implementation of tobacco cessation programs in every jurisdiction in this country. The goal is to ensure every person with cancer who wishes to quit smoking has the support and resources to do so.

Read the full article Quitting smoking can improve your cancer treatment, period.