Telling a person who has just learned they suffer from a form of cancer that was caused by smoking that it’s not too late to quit may strike some as cynical and inappropriate. It’s a well-known fact that there is a strong correlation between smoking regular tobacco cigarettes and the incidence of various types of cancer, such as lung cancer, throat cancer, and head cancer. As a matter of fact, they are the most strongly smoking-linked types of cancer; and while many patients who receive this diagnosis will attempt to quit, not all of them will follow through. Some may even think that quitting when you already know you’re affected is more or less irrelevant.
However, recent reports from the medical field have revealed that, indeed, from a certain perspective it’s never too late to quit. Cancer, or ‘the plague of the century’, as it has also been referred to, is often a fatal disease. What’s more, it’s also responsible for some thirty per cent of all deaths among smokers. These stats shouldn’t read as a discouragement, however, but as a warning. This is because researchers from the Moffitt Cancer Center have recently found that quitting sooner rather than later is a good idea, irrespective of diagnosis.
The researchers attempted to explore relatively unchartered territory of yet. Specifically, they recruited survey subjects from among the cancer sufferers at the Moffitt clinic. They evaluated all those who attempted to quit smoking, following a head, throat, or lung cancer diagnosis, looked at quitting success rates, as well as at nicotine habits relapse incidence during the twelve months that followed each patient’s tumor removal surgical procedure. Some patients had quit smoking a short while before undergoing surgery, while others kept on smoking after the diagnosis and the procedure as well. All patients were then evaluated on their smoking habits after two, four, six, and twelve months following the surgery. Of those who had quit before going under the surgeon’s knife, only 13 per cent went back to their cigarette smoking ways – that’s compared to 60 per cent of those who hadn’t quit before the intervention.
The authors of the study highlight the fact that a cancer diagnosis, for lung, throat, or head cancer in the cases they assessed, is a defining moment; yet, despite its gravity, it is also the kind of moment that can turn ‘teachable’ and thus improve the patient’s life for the better. They went on to add that numerous cancer patients will also battle depression post-surgery, which makes it important to stress that they can quit before the intervention and thus make things easier for themselves. They do need to know that quitting is now easier, thanks to devices like the Blu electronic cigarette, accompanied by therapy and other positive motivators. In spite of their unquestionably serious diagnosis, their focus needs to be on creating a better future for themselves – and that must necessarily involve being tobacco cigarette-free. While it remains unclear how much smoking will aggravate an existing case of cancer, it is certainly a dangerous habit (even for healthy individuals), and hence one that’s worth battling against.