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hello, all. my mom smoked for at least 30+ years before she was diagnosed with lung cancer this summer. still no official staging but believed to be 3b. she stopped smoking but has recently started up again. i feel like by doing that she is just laughing in the face of her treatment. have any of you found a successful way to get your family member to give up smoking for good?

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First off, Try this article. This is a proven medical fact now;

Nicotine Might Thwart Chemotherapy for Lung Cancer

By Randy Dotinga

HealthDay Reporter

SUNDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- Preliminary research suggests that nicotine can cripple chemotherapy in lung cancer patients, even if it comes in a patch or gum designed to help a smoker quit the life-threatening habit.

The researchers only looked at a sampling of human cells in the laboratory, and they don't know if nicotine could potentially derail chemotherapy for other types of cancer.

Still, the findings suggest a simple message: "If you have cancer, stay away from nicotine -- smoking or patches or gum," said study co-author Srikumar Chellappan, an associate professor at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute in Tampa, Fla.

While nicotine is a major player in making tobacco addictive, its role in causing cancer is unclear. Other substances that make up tobacco smoke are considered more dangerous, which is why doctors consider it acceptable to use nicotine-based gum and patches to help smokers quit.

However, nicotine isn't entirely in the clear, with some research suggesting it could counteract cancer treatment. Chellappan and fellow researchers decided to see if it weakens chemotherapy, which targets tumor cells with poisonous chemicals.

In their new study, the researchers tested the effect of nicotine on lung cancer cells exposed to three types of chemotherapy drugs -- gemcitabine, cisplatin and taxol.

They report their findings in this week's issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and were scheduled to present them Sunday at the American Association for Cancer Research's annual meeting, in Washington, D.C.

The researchers discovered that the level of nicotine found in a typical smoker was enough to disrupt the chemotherapy drugs' ability to kill off the cancer cells.

By how much? "That we don't know, but in the studies, it's a major difference, a significant difference," Chellappan said.

According to him, nicotine appears to boost the levels of two proteins that protect cancer cells.

What's next? "There should be human studies to finally establish that this is a major red flag," Chellappan said.

For now, however, the research is very preliminary, cautioned Dr. Norman Edelman, chief medical officer of the American Lung Association. "There are so many differences between a living, walking human and a dish full of cells in a laboratory."

And while the study is "provocative and could be very important," Edelman added, it's important to consider that people who use nicotine patches or gum instead of cigarettes avoid taking in a variety of other poisons. This complicates the picture of just how harmful nicotine is in those forms -- especially since the patches and gums help people quit smoking in the first place.

Do people actually continue to smoke while they're undergoing treatment for lung cancer? Absolutely, said Edelman, adding, "It's not uncommon for smokers to continue smoking, especially those who are told they have cancer that's not really curable."

SOURCES: Srikumar P. Chellappan, Ph.D., associate professor, Drug Discovery Program, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, Fla.; Norman Edelman, M.D., chief medical officer, American Lung Association, Stony Brook, N.Y.; April 3-7, 2006, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences online; April 2, 2006, presentation, American Association of Cancer Research annual meeting, Washington, D.C.

If she continues to smoke she is basically wasting her time and money with chemotherapy. Better off quitting and eating and gaining weight I think. Good Luck and saying a prayer.

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Here's the thing... No one can make someone else give up anything. It has to be a choice made by the individual.

The smoking after diagnosis/during treatment issue is more complex than it may seem. Your Mom may feel the damage has already been done... so why quit? She may feel the odds aren't in her favor so why not do things she enjoys. Or maybe the addiction just has it's claws in her so deeply that she can't let go.

Our job as caregivers is not to coerce or force ANYTHING. Rather, it is to support, unconditionally all the way through the journey. Your Mom has lung cancer. She knows the dangers of smoking. Though it's hard, focus on other aspects of your Mom's journey.

I know it's frustrating and doesn't make sense looking at it from out of her shoes, but while you can encourage her to quit and remind her that it is an asset in treatment to be a non-smoker, doing much past that may serve to do no more than push her away. I know before LC was in our lives, when I pushed the issue of smoking with either of my folks it was met usually by anger, pushing back, and almost always more smoking. Also they never ceased to remind me that *I* was the *kid* in the relationship.

Just my two cents--take them or leave them.

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I also was a 30 year smoker who quit on the day of diagnosis. I used an online site called Quitnet.com for peer support throughout the process. It's a great way to make friends who are going through or have gone through the same thing and can offer 24 hour support and guidance along the way. I'm very proud to say that I have been quit for 431 days and I still pledge each and every morning that I will not smoke today. If you'd like more info, feel free to p-m me.

Trish

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My sister also smoked for about 30years and really had a dificult time qitting. But she did. She has been off of them for about 2 weeks now, and it has been difficult for her. She wants one really bad, but has to force herself not to have one. One day, one hour, one minute at a time. I don't believe there is a sure way of doing it. She uses tootsie roll lollipops and jolly ranchers, with an occasional stick of gum. It is working so far. It absolutely has to be something she wants to do..not just HAS TO DO.[/u]

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I spoke with a woman today who said when she received her diagnosis, the first thing she wanted was a cigarette. THey are pure evil.

Can you go buy the patch? And find a national quit line?

I mean throw the kitchen sink at the problem.

At least try anything knowing you gave it your all.

PS, my mom was always falling back to smoking too. No judgement, just hope that something that is available will work for her.

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Don't forget that nicotine is more addictive than heroin. The first thing that people who are addicted to something do when they have big stress is fall back on the addiction. This is a toughie, but give your Mom some time, she has been just hit upside the head with a 2 X 4. I know it is hard to see her continuing to smoke, but be patient. She will come around and probably doesn't need nagging right now. She knows what is the best thing to do.

From one who knows,

Welthy

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I "here-here" everything in Treebywater's reply.

And I want to add that nicotine is indeed more addictive than heroine and it is such a hard addiction to kick for some (I know from personal experience)

Aside from the obvious benefits of quitting, (tolerating treatments better, better breathing, increased appetite and wound healing) she significantly reduces her chances of developing other health problems related to smoking.

She's got to make a choice to quit. If she makes that choice, my only advice is to never stop trying. Quit a million times if you have to, try a million things- there will be something that works- whether it is cold-turkey and sheer will power, or the patch, gum, pill and counselling- something will work, just keep trying.

Nicotine only causes physical withdrawl for up to 72 hours, if she can get past that, it will be easier to stay quit.

I used the patch for a week- it helped me not want a cigarette while I was changing my habits, routines and getting my smoke-free life in order. I took Wellbutrin at the same time...this made it easier for me to stop the patch after a week and be completly nocotine free. Its original function was that of an anti depressant, so I do believe that had to help too. Also, I took up "busy work" to help ease the feeling that I was "missing something" by not smoking. I read a book and taught myself to crochet, I cracked sun flower seeds, I sat in front of the computer and never stopped typing for a really long time, scrapbooking and crafts and basically rearranged every room and closet in my house.....all of these things can help when or if your mom decides to quit.

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Remember, it is Moms decision to quit and hwers alone. The most you can do is influence her to make the right decision. Once again, More prayers that she decides to quit and has good luck. Many great ideas here. I threw out my last pack nearly 3 1/2 years when deb got diagnosed. In the Doctors parking lot!!

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First let me say just because she smokes getting treatment is NOT a waste of her time. My mom has smoked since Dx and has been in remission for 1 1/2yrs. I do not like the thought of her smoking and I have tried everything from getting mad at her to buying her the patch and everything and she is not ready she will not do it. I have come to learn to exept everything about her and enjoy the time we have together. Best of luck and take it is on her. I stopped smoking the day she was Dx but she has not been able to. She tried hiding it from me and then lying to me which caused more hostility. Best of luck.

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thanks all for the words of advice. we had a talk about it and i expressed to my mom how much it pains me to see her smoke. she said, "i think i only started again because terri told me she still smokes and drinks." terri is a woman we've met in radiation who also has lung cancer. she told my mom that she feels since she does everything else the doctors tell her why can't she still smoke and drink?! i asked my mom, "since when did you become so easily swayed by how someone else lives their life?!" she agreed and said she will stop smoking. i haven't smelled any smoke in the house and haven't seen any butts in the garbage so i am hopeful it is working for her.

she overcame an addiction to illegal drugs (has been clean for almost a year)...i said to her, "if you can stop that, you can stop smoking!" i hope she believes that.

i can't say enough how nice it is to talk to people who know exactly what we are both going through.

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I am so glad you mom has stopped. Fingers crossed here that it stays that way.

Tell her how proud you are. Even is she stumbles along the way just be there for her for encouragement. AS this is something she can only do herself.

Do not critize or comdem her. Just keep telling her how much you love her and you are always there for her no matter what.

Maryanne :wink:

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My mom struggled to quit too...in fact her husband and son-in-law continue to smoke. I quit on the day of diagnosis (with a few slips here and there). One of the things that helped my Mom is we painted her house (what a difference)....she now lives a truly smoke free environment. She says when she did slip it was "out of anger" (maybe her husband had a smoke)...she said she was "being a rebel." Her husband is going to a quit smoking class (so he can get on the patch for free). I pray that he and your Mom are successful. I didn't realize just how evil cigarettes were (and I'm a RN)....it is too bad it took my mom's diagnosis to finally quit, but besides the occassional craving- I am enjoying my smoke free life.

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People look at me every day and ask me "You STILL smoke??" when they find out my mother (who quit 20 years ago, then started again after her diagnosis...and has now quit again) has lung cancer. Smoking is not only physically addicting, it's psychologically addicting. It's your best friend and your biggest enemy at the same time. A cigarette is always there for you, never "lets you down", can sympathize with every emotion you feel, and doesn't "nag". All of those things go through a smokers mind when they even THINK about not smoking. It's hard to quit. It's VERY hard to quit.

Love your mom for what she's trying to do. Support her and let her know that you do, every step of the way. She'll make the best decisions she can if given the opportunity to make them for herself. I'm so glad she's got a wonderful child like you, though, who loves her enough to care!!

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I quit smoking 8 years ago when my mother in law was dx with cancer of the throat. Her family continues to smoke and it always amazes me. My mom was just recently dx with lung cancer(from smoking) and the first thing i wanted to do was have a cigarette, isnt that crazy? Its such a powerful addiction. I think cigarettes should be banned. My son still smokes even with 2 grandmothers with cancer and im always throwing his "butts" and lighters away. I Hate smoking almost as much as i hate cancer. I did not give in to my temptation even though some people said " its ok to have one, your under alot of stress". i know if i had one I would be hooked all over again. I pray everynight that everyone i know will quit. I guess ill add that even people i dont know quit also.

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she's back at it, again! she was on wellbutrin but the doctor's had her stop because at the time she was jaundiced and they weren't sure what was causing it. they still have not cleared her to use it again. she says the cigarettes taste nasty and everything but she's not sure why she wants them. i understand it's an addiction and it is hard for her to fight. i am trying my best to leave it up to her on whether or not she thinks it's ok to smoke. at this point i just have my hands up in the air because i'm more than a little frustrated.

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This may sound weird but first the Person needing help has to help themself Before we can help them. You know what I mean? Remember yesterday, Enjoy today and Pray for tomorrow. That is all we can do sometimes. Sending prayers and warm fuzzy blankets from the dryer for support.

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