Do you smoke cigarettes or use tobacco and wish that you could quit?
Has your doctor informed you that if you don’t quit using tobacco, you can't receive treatment for your condition or you can’t have surgery?
Have you tried to quit many times and failed?
Have you recently received a serious diagnosis and now you feel more motivated than ever to quit tobacco for good?
Quitting Smoking—the Best Thing You Can Do to Reduce Your Cancer Risk
Tobacco is the cause of 90 percent of lung cancers, and smoking increases the risk of more than a dozen other cancers, including cancers of the mouth, larynx (voice box), pharynx (upper throat), nose and sinuses, esophagus (food pipe), liver, pancreas, stomach, kidney, bladder, cervix and bowel, as well as one type of ovarian cancer and some types of leukemia. There is also some evidence that smoking could increase the risk of breast cancer.
Quitting Smoking After a Cancer Diagnosis Can Help
Many studies have demonstrated the beneficial effect of smoking cessation on cancer treatment, toxicity, quality of life, return of the cancer or development of a second tumor, and survival. Tobacco use by cancer patients can complicate a wide variety of treatments, including radiation therapy, chemotherapy and surgery (Gritz, Dresler & Sarna, 2005).
Patients already diagnosed with cancer can benefit greatly from quitting their tobacco use. Benefits may include fewer complications when receiving various cancer treatments and better outcomes of the treatment.
Great Reasons to Quit Smoking During Cancer Treatment
If you are having surgery, you may experience these benefits of quitting smoking:
- You will recover more quickly and improve faster after surgery.
- The time it takes to heal your wounds will be reduced.
- You will have fewer pulmonary, circulatory and infectious complications.
- You will have much less chance of being admitted to the intensive care unit after surgery.
If you are receiving radiation therapy or chemotherapy, you may experience these benefits of quitting smoking:
- You may have a better response to the treatment and experience fewer side effects.
- You will lower your risk for developing more tumors.
- You will reduce your chance of long-term toxicity or damage to your lungs.
- Your immune function may be improved.
SCCA Living Tobacco-Free Services
Living Tobacco-Free Services are available to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) patients. You do not have to be in Seattle to participate and benefit from the program. We can meet with you in-person or talk on the phone, whichever suits your needs.
When you schedule a Living Tobacco-Free session, you will meet or talk on the phone with Donna Manders (center) or Grace Bell (left), tobacco-cessation counselors. If you are interested in using a medication to manage nicotine-withdrawal symptoms, we can help you determine which medication is best for you and help you access it. If you smoke to manage stress or deal with other emotional issues, we can offer alternate approaches that will preserve and improve your health. Finally, we can help you find strategies to break the habit of smoking. We also provide written educational materials and information about other resources for quitting.
Following your first session with Living Tobacco-Free Services, you may elect to have us call you or meet with you three additional times. You are welcome to call us as many times as you like during your journey to becoming smoke-free. Our goal is to help you become a comfortable and confident non-smoker in a time frame that works for you.
For more information about SCCA Living Tobacco-Free Services, please call Donna Manders at (206) 288-7766. Also, check out our helpful links.
Join us at our drop-in hour from noon to 1 p.m. on the third Tuesday of the month at the SCCA Sanctuary located on the first floor of the SCCA clinic. This hour is open to anyone with questions or concerns about smoking cessation.
Ask your SCCA doctor for a referral or call Seattle Cancer Care Alliance at (206) 288-7222. Now patients can self-refer by calling (206) 288-7766.
It is never too late to stop smoking—quitting at any time will enable you to live a longer and healthier life. If you keep trying, you will succeed.