Does quitting smoking immediately after being diagnosed with lung cancer, the main risk factor, have an impact on patient survival? Not surprisingly, the answer is “yes,” remarkably according to an Italian study published in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology, the official journal of the International Society for the Study of Lung Cancer.
The researchers conducted a meta-analysis that pooled the results of twenty studies involving more than 10,000 patients. Regardless of the type of lung cancer (non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell lung cancer (CPC) for the primary causes), smoking cessation after diagnosis was associated with an improved overall survival rate of about 30%, compared to patients who They did not stop smoking.
Why such an effect? Because smoke particles appear to be able to promote tumor growth, development, and spread, as shown in a recent study of head and neck cancers, also linked to tobacco consumption, in women. Continuing to smoke during treatment for lung cancer also reduces the effectiveness and tolerability of radiotherapy and increases the risk of postoperative complications.
For the study’s authors, lung cancer screening, which primarily targets heavy smokers, should be an opportunity to inform patients of the important benefits of quitting smoking quickly after diagnosis. Before that, of course, to organize their support to quit smoking. Another study recently showed that this benefit was independent of disease stage.
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