Quit Smoking & Survive Lung Cancer

Yes, you read that title right. Intuitively, it makes sense. Quit smoking and you can decrease your chance of lung cancer. But, now, there is data out there that patients with early lung cancer - who quit smoking - not only increase their rate of survival - they can double their chances of survival. The article talking about they study is from the Associated Press entitled, "Smokers With Cancer Could Quit And Double Survival."

People with lung cancer who continued smoking had a 29 to 33 percent chance of surviving five years. But those who kicked the habit had a 63 to 70 percent chance of being alive after five years. The research was published Friday in the BMJ, formerly known as the British Medical Journal. Lung cancer is the top cancer worldwide, and the prognosis is usually poor. Only about 7 percent of patients make it to five years, though about 20 percent of patients are diagnosed early enough to be treated.

"The message is you should never give up on giving up (smoking)," said Amanda Parsons, of the U.K. Centre for Tobacco Control Studies at the University of Birmingham, who led the study. "Even at the stage where you have been diagnosed with early stage lung cancer ... if you give up smoking, your body can still partially recover and your risk is reduced," she said.

I once thought (and a lot of patients thought) that when you are diagnosed with lung cancer - it doesn't matter if you quit smoking or not. I fully admit that I have never smoked, ever. I don't personally know how difficult it is to quit. But, I have a lot of patients, who I talk with every day, and, they tell me the struggles that they go through when they try to quit again, and again, and again. At least I can tell them that even if you are diagnosed with early lung cancer, there is data out there saying that it is still not too late to quit smoking....