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Does it matter if you still smoke


Edward C

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Hello board I just joined to ask a question or two if you don't mind. My friend has SCLC and he is still smoking and this I do not under stand. I saw him the other day and he is still smoking. I know that he has had a tough time but maybe if he stoped smoking he could give his lungs a chance to clear up. Please let me know if anyone is still smoking and if so why. Does it not matter?

thank you,

Edward C[/b]

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Well, that's a horse a piece! Quiting isn't going to clear his lungs up just like that. HOWEVER, it will help him to quit in other ways,if he is doing chemo. How old is your friend? What is his diagnosis? Is he doing chemo or radiation? How long has he smoked?

Short story. I have an Uncle who is 77 years old. At 75 he was dx.d with prostate cancer. He smoked and still smokes 4 packs a day. (now in my opinion, he doesn't have any lungs being he smokes 4 packs a day)but seriously, I asked 3 of his doc's if she should quit smoking and each and everyone of them said, "NO, it might kill him" They were serious. My Uncle had been smoking sense he was 11. My Uncle is STILL cancer free today and his lungs they say sound clear and sound! :roll::shock:

But, the other side of that coin is, smoking isn't good for you or anyone, and we here at LCSC all know that. Some more then others, sadly enough!

If you have NEVER been a smoker, you haven't got a clue what it's like to quit. I honestly mean that in a nice way. I'm very sure your friend is thinking he's going to die anyway. Well, I can tell him that's not always the case. I use to smoke and I quit when they tore my left lung out 10 years ago. I never in a million years thought ANYONE lived after being dx.d with lung cancer. I thought for sure it was a DEATH SENTENCE! WRONG!!! You might want to tell your friend some of this, because I have people in my support group who are SCLC SURVIVORS of 5 and 6 years and they quit smoking before they were dx.d. He needs to hear some survivor stories. He can beat this as well.

Will quit smoking help? Don't know to be honest, but it can't hurt to try!

Best Wishes,

Connie

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I bet it helps with breathing problems.

I quit the first year then it got me again. The oncol. said it would not make any difference with treatment or life expectency. I have heard pros and cons. As for me I got so tired of feeling not normal, that is why I started again. Maybe one day I can put them down again and maybe for the last time.

Cindy

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For what it's worth...my oncologist said treatment works better when someone quits. I'd already quit the day of my biopsy, before I even had the diagnosis.

I'll say this...I had NO symptoms, my cancer was caught so early. Recently...and probably more due to low blood pressure....I get winded going up and down stairs. The shortness of breath is NO FUN!! It made me think about IF I was still smoking, how much worse the shortness of breath might be. :shock:

I don't care to find out. I have enormous sympathy for anyone trying to quit and struggling with it. It's one of the hardest habits to break. Fear did it for me, I guess.

Quitting now won't "cure" or fix your friend's lungs...but quitting sure won't hurt him, either. Encourage him to try to quit...and then leave it alone. He'll do what he's able to do...and since he's under enough stress right now, he doesn't need any more. But he's lucky to have a good friend like you who cares enough seek out info for him! :wink:

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I also was told that chemo works better and that there are fewer side effects if you quit smoking. Not to mention that there are fewer breathing problems associated for those who are not smoking.

In our personal experience, my dad had horrible side effects and ended up in the hospital twice, then after he quit smoking he tolerated the chemo very well, ate more, and never needed oxygen.

This is a decision your friend will have to make, ultimately it's his life.

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2 things I was told at diagnosis that sealed the smoking issue for me:

1) That smoking destroys things in the windpipe that are needed for keeping it cleaned out, and without it, look forward to lots of coughing, and for the treatment to much less effective.

2) That continuing to smoke probably wouldn't have any affect on the cancer they'd just found, but at the same time, I'd be working on another one. Did I want to go through all this again?

Di

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When Dave was first diagnosed and still in the hospital, two years ago, we had the initial meeting with his WONDERFUL, POSITIVE oncologist right there in the hospital room. He looked Dave right in the eye and said "small cell lung cancer is almost always caused by smoking. if you continue to smoke, no matter what I do for you, you will probably die." that's all it took for Dave to quit.

Smoking is a horrible addiction. I think some people are just more "prone" to that addiction than others, too, and for them, quitting is pretty darn hard.

I think your friend needs to quit, no doubt, but please go easy on him.

Karen

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Prognostic value of smoking status in operated non-small cell lung cancer.

Sardari Nia P, Weyler J, Colpaert C, Vermeulen P, Van Marck E, Van Schil P.

Department of Thoracic and Vascular Surgery, University Hospital of Antwerp, Belgium. Peyman.Sardari.Nia@uza.be

Despite the indisputable link between smoking and the increased risk for lung cancer, the inclusion of this factor in prognostic survival analysis has been scarce. Important clinical questions regarding the smoking status are the basis of this study and are as follow: what is the prognostic benefit of having been a non-smoker or having stopped smoking prior to developing lung cancer and what is the prognostic benefit of smoking cessation at the time of diagnosis of lung cancer? Cigarette smoking status of 311 patients operated for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) by a single surgeon was determined based on two independent questionnaires taken prospectively prior to lung operation. Of all patients analysed, 169 (54.3%) were current smokers, 25 (8.0%) were non-smokers, 82 (26.4%) were former smokers and 35 (11.3%) were recent quitters. A Cox multiple regression model was used to test the prognostic value of smoking status on survival together with other relevant clinicopathological factors. For overall survival, older age (P = 0.011), presence of lymph node metastases (P < 0.001) and current smoking (P = 0.001) were independent predictors of poor prognosis, while non-smokers (relative risk = 0.447, 95% confidence interval = 0.206-0.970, P = 0.042), former smokers (relative risk = 0.543, 95% confidence interval = 0.350-0.843, P = 0.006) and recent quitters (relative risk = 0.340, 95% confidence interval = 0.164-0.705, P = 0.004) had a significant better prognosis compared to current smokers (referent group). Similar results were obtained for disease-free survival. These results indicate that smoking cessation is beneficial for lung cancer patients at any time point prior to lung operation and current smoking at the time of operation is associated with poor prognosis.

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The relationship between cigarette smoking and quality of life after lung cancer diagnosis.

Garces YI, Yang P, Parkinson J, Zhao X, Wampfler JA, Ebbert JO, Sloan JA.

Mayo Clinic, Charlton 6, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.

STUDY OBJECTIVE: To describe the relationship between cigarette smoking and quality of life (QOL) among lung cancer survivors as measured by the lung cancer symptom scale (LCSS). DESIGN AND SETTING: The LCSS was mailed to eligible patients (1,506 patients) between 1999 and 2002. LCSS scores (total and individual QOL components) were compared among different groups of cigarette smokers via univariate independent group testing and multivariate linear models. The modeling process examined group differences adjusted for age, gender, stage, and time of LCSS assessment. LCSS scores were transformed onto a scale of 0 to 100 points in which higher LCSS scores corresponded to a lower QOL. A 10-point difference between groups was defined a priori as being clinically significant. RESULTS: At the time of lung cancer diagnosis, 18% of the patients were never-smokers, 58% were former smokers, and 24% were current smokers. Among survey respondents completing the LCSS at follow-up assessment (1,028 respondents), the mean age was 65.2 years (SD, 10.8 years) and 45% were women. Thirty percent of baseline current smokers continued to smoke at the time of the follow-up assessment (ie, persistent smokers). The adjusted mean total LCSS scores for never-smokers and persistent smokers were 17.6 (SD, 4.02) and 28.7 (SD, 5.09), respectively (p < 0.0001). Seven of the individual LCSS QOL components (ie, appetite, fatigue, cough, shortness of breath, lung cancer symptoms, illness affecting normal activities, and overall QOL) were clinically and statistically (p < 0.001) different between never-smokers and persistent smokers. No clinically significant differences were noted for pain or hemoptysis. Former smokers had intermediate LCSS scores. No dose-response trends were observed between the number of packs of cigarettes smoked per day or the total number of pack-years smoked and the adjusted scores. CONCLUSION: The hypothesized relationship between smoking status and QOL was supported by this correlational study. Our findings suggest that persistent cigarette smoking after a lung cancer diagnosis negatively impacts QOL scores.

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These results indicate that smoking cessation is beneficial for lung cancer patients at any time point prior to lung operation and current smoking at the time of operation is associated with poor prognosis.

...Our findings suggest that persistent cigarette smoking after a lung cancer diagnosis negatively impacts QOL scores.

Thanks John!

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Just from a Respiratory Therapist's point of view, he needs to quit. Period. End of story. I agree, if he gets through this battle, he may be setting himself up for another battle down the road.

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I agree, if he gets through this battle, he may be setting himself up for another battle down the road.

(Kim)

With all the many reasons to quit smoking when I was diagnosed, the most chilling and effective was when this wonderful Pulmonologist who had (literally)saved my life said so cavalierly that the tumor he'd just found wouldn't be affected, but if I continued to smoke, I'd be working on more tumors.

One thing many people think once they are diagnosed with cancer is that they can't/won't have another kind of cancer. Wrong. There are people on this board who have both NSCLC and SCLC. Survivors of other kinds of cancer and now fighting lung cancer. Experiences are all over the board.

No, quitting won't guarantee anything, but it sure won't hurt to help the odds as best you can, IMO.

Di

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The research shows pretty definitively that quitting smoking decreases symptoms in people with lung cancer. I don't have time to look up the papers now, but p.m. me if you would like some references.

There are online quitting smoking services, a national telephone support line, and probably resources locally wherever you are. It's tough, but worth it. And it matters. - Teresa

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I have not posted on this board since the death of my sister from SCLC. She died on February 9, one of the darkest days of my life. I still "lurk" on this board to check on the wellbeing of some of the individuals I feel I got to know, hoping they are better, only to learn they are not. My sister began to smoke at age 18 when a boyfriend convinced her that it was "cool" and she was addicted from that point on; she was able to quit for several years a few years ago then started up again. I last saw her 3 days before she died. At that point she could no longer speak and I don't even know if she knew I was there. She was very restless and her husband speculated that part of the reason might be that, since she was no longer able to keep it in her mouth due to his fear that she would choke on it, she did not have any more Nicorette gum--therefore, he thought she might, in addition to dying, be going through nicotine withdrawal. Hence, how powerful nicotine addiction is...however, that being said, and even though I am a non-smoker and have been told by my late sister, my husband, and many other smokers that I can't know difficult it is to quit smoking....I can't even IMAGINE the very idea of continuing to smoke when the very thing that you are putting into your mouth is what made you sick and has an overwhelming possibility of killing you! SCLC is 99.9% caused by cigarette smoking! Many forms of NSCLC--same thing---cigarettes! Also, research has PROVEN that chemotherapy is less effective if the individual continues to smoke! Good God, why even bother with chemo & attempting to get well and live if you're just going to continue to puff away? This is written in loving memory of my sister, who I will miss every day of my life.

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Dani, I don't know why either, except to say that it's about addiction and not necessarily common sense.

A friend who works with a hospice tells me that a nicotine patch is quite common with some of their patients to avoid what you described may have happened to your sister.

I can easily step back from a situation and find all kinds of reasons for people to stop whatever their addiction might be, but they are the ones who have to take the initiative -- and for their own reasons and in their own time.

Di

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Main Entry: ad·dic·tion

Pronunciation: &-'dik-sh&n

Function: noun

: compulsive physiological need for and use of a habit-forming substance (as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol) characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal; broadly : persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be physically, psychologically, or socially harmful —

Tobacco is as addictive as heroin (as a mood & behavior altering agent).

Nicotine is:

1000 X more potent than alcohol

10-100 X more potent than barbiturates

5-10 X more potent than cocaine or morphine

A 1-2 pack per day smoker takes 200-400 hits daily for years. This constant intake of a fast acting drug (which affects mood, concentration & performance).. eventually produces dependence.

Pressures to relapse are both behaviorally & pharmacologically triggered.

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I had the same question when I was first diagnosed with sclc. I'm a smoker of 40 years - who knew it was a bad idea the whole time. Undoubtedly, the smoking led directly to my contracting the disease - however my Doc said the same thing so many other Oncs say - quitting at this stage won't do any good, and might do some harm. In my case smoking is the best way I know of for relieving stress. The irony is not lost on all of us continuing smokers. The best reasons I've heard for stopping at this late stage are 1) a feeling of accomplishment if you succeed (and we all need little victories) and 2) Your lungs will clear, to some extent, which is useful in further treatment options, and 3) regaining a sense of smell and taste after so long a period can be quite a rush.

In any case the decision belongs to your friend. If they're OK with it then you should make yourself OK with it also - for their sake.

Uncle Doug

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I'd just add a 4th to Doug's list: Continuing to smoke means you continue to put the same carcinogens into your system. You know how your body reacts to them (cancer), and as long as they are still being introduced on a regular basis, it is possible that new cancers will form while the old one(s) are being treated.

Di

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3) regaining a sense of smell and taste after so long a period can be quite a rush.

I had to add after reading this, for a while after I'd quit smoking I did notice a change in the way things tasted. The funny/sad thing was that my beloved diet pepsi tasted so "funny" for months after I quit until I got used to it's "real" taste after smoking for so long.

I started when was about 11-12 years old, I was 37 when I was diagnosed & quit.

Quitting smoking is always the best choice.

Unfortunately quitting smoking isn't as easy and just not buying anymore cigarettes.

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