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Duke Pain Study: Re Continued Smoking after Diagnosis


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Smokers who still refuse to kick the habit after being diagnosed with lung cancer experience higher levels of pain from the disease than nonsmokers and former smokers, according to research reported in The Journal of Pain, http://www.jpain.org, the peer-reviewed publication of the American Pain Society, http://www.ampainsoc.org.

Duke University researchers surveyed some 900 lung cancer patients and classified 17 percent of them as persistent smokers. The objective of the study was to assess the relationship of smoking status after a diagnosis of lung cancer with ratings of usual pain. Several studies have examined the effects of continued smoking after a lung cancer diagnosis and found that it impairs healing, lowers efficacy of cancer treatments, hampers overall quality of life, increases risk for recurrence and secondary tumors, and decreases survival.

The study results showed that patients who continued to smoke after diagnosis reported higher levels of pain and other lung cancer complications, such as shortness of breath and fatigue, than non smokers and former smokers. The authors concluded that pain coping skills training should be included in smoking cessation protocols for lung cancer patients who have not stopped smoking.

American Pain Society

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IL 60025

United States


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(Medical News Today, Lung Cancer

Also included in Smoking/Quit Smoking; Pain/ Anesthetics, March 19, 2009)


The information contained in these articles may or may not be in agreement with my own opinions. They are not being posted with the intention of being medical advice of any kind.

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Gee, maybe the ones with more pain (and therefore stress) to begin with were a significant percentage of those who continued to smoke?

FWIW, I have continued to smoke and have had NO pain except for a brief period of sciatica from bone mets, which was totally alleviated by radiation to the spine. Also, since I'm not doing any chemo, I don't have to worry about the smoking interfering with the chemo's effectiveness.

Smoking has been one of my great pleasures in life lo these past 54 years, and I can't think of a single reason to quit now. And neither can my oncologist. And I don't even have the kind of cancer that's statistically correlated with smoking.

Barb, just to make sure you don't take this the wrong way, I am NOT arguing with YOU -- and in fact I very much appreciate your taking the trouble to post all these reports! I just get livid at all the agenda-driven drivel that passes for 'research' when it comes to smoking.


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I know from whence you come, but Ellen, try to realize that many people who continue to smoke after a diagnosis of what Bill has (a very painful disease) have had multiple treatments.

Not one of those treatments (many known to have very negative effects) in the past 4 plus years has given Bill anything more than a certain fatigue. He has never experienced pain, nausea, nor any long-term neuropathy in feet, nor hands.

His Quality of Life has been exceptional. Thanks be to God.

This study has been addressing those who have been participants in actual treatments.

Ellen, you are entitled to decide on your course of action. I respect you to the ultimate. Trust me, I am an elder lady (born in 1935), and do want you to succeed in your choice. My life experience is so much that I want everyone, no matter the choice, to be winners.

I only know what Bill and I have experienced. Bill has not felt any pain whatsoever. If he did, I would be there to initiate being an advocate for the drug of choice to quell any of that.

Love and respect to you, Ellen, and I know exactly what you mean. Please do not think that I took this in any untoward manner. If you knew me personally, you would know that there isn't any of that in my nature.

Love you,


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