Lung cancer continues to be one of the leading causes of death, with smoking being the primary culprit. This is the reason why a network of non-profit agencies have drafted a set of guidelines to help patients kick the habit.
The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) recently released the Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology for Smoking Cessation, which delineates proper instructions and procedures on helping smokers diagnosed with cancer off the deadly practice. NCCN Chief Executive Officer Robert W. Carlson, MD expressed the importance of the NCCN Guidelines for Smoking Cessation. “Addressing the physical and behavioral impact of cigarette smoking dependency and offering a support system for people with cancer can positively impact their quality of life, both during treatment and during survivorship,” Carlson said in a news release.
The panel of experts who formulated the guidelines include Peter G. Shields, MD, deputy director of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital . As a lung cancer specialist, Shields said that addiction to smoking is a very difficult thing to reject, but the need to do so will benefit the health condition of cancer patients. “Science has shown us that smokers with cancer have a high level of dependence and smoking cessation leads to improvement in cancer treatment effectiveness and decreased cancer recurrence,” Shields said.
NCCN believes that a sustainable and effective method of ensuring that cancer patients are tobacco-free involves a combination of medical therapy and preventive counseling.”Our hope is that by addressing smoking cessation in a cancer patient population, we can make it easier for oncologists to effectively support their patients in achieving their smoking cessation goals,” Shields added.
Data from the American Cancer Society showed that more than 25 percent of cancer-related deaths are caused by cigarette smoking.