Studies suggest that tobacco use before, during and after cancer treatment could affect cell growth, cell death and tumor density, hindering the effectiveness of cancer treatment. According to the Surgeon General report on tobacco in 2014, quitting smoking improves mortality rates from any cancer by approximately 30 percent. At MD Anderson, we are committed to providing patients with the best cancer care and improving the quality of life of our patients.
The Tobacco Research and Treatment Program offers tobacco-cessation services, including in-person behavioral counseling, telephone counseling, web-cam counseling and several tobacco-cessation medication treatments, at no cost to MD Anderson cancer patients who are current tobacco users (e.g., cigarettes, smokeless tobacco) or recent quitters (those who quit within the past 12 months).
Patients already diagnosed with cancer can still benefit greatly from quitting their tobacco use. Not only will patients benefit from tobacco cessation, but physicians will have fewer complications when implementing various cancer treatments, possibly saving valuable time and resources and improving outcomes of clinical trials.
Some of the negative effects of tobacco use on a cancer patient’s treatment and quality of life are listed below.
Improved Surgical Recovery
- Reduced wound healing time (Frick et al., 1994)
- Reduced pulmonary, circulatory and infectious complications (Bluman et al., 1998; Morton et al., 1994)
- Reduced post-operative admittance to Intensive Care Unit (ICU) (Moller et al., 2001)
Improved Quality of Life Scores
- Persistent cigarette smoking after lung cancer diagnosis negatively affects quality of life (Garces et al., 2004)
Risks of Continued Smoking in Patients Treated with Radiotherapy
- Lower response rates, poorer survival and exacerbated side effects (Browmanet al., 1993)
- Difficulty regaining satisfactory voice quality (Karim et al., 1983)
- Higher risk for developing second malignant tumors (Hiyama et al., 1992)
Risk of Continued Smoking in Patients Treated with Chemotherapy
- Long-term pulmonary toxicity (Lehne et al., 1993)
- Suppression of immune function (Tollerud et al., 1989)
If a patient stops smoking today, his or her risk of:
- Stroke is reduced to that of a non-smoker after five to 15 years
- Cancer of the mouth, throat and esophagus is reduced by 50% after five years compared to continuing smokers
- Cancer of the larynx is reduced compared to continuing smokers
- Coronary heart disease is reduced by 50% one year after quitting compared to a smoker; risk returns to that of a nonsmoker after 15 years
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is reduced compared to continuing smokers
- Lung cancer is reduced by 50% after 10 years compared to continuing smokers
- Pancreatic cancer is reduced after 10 years compared to continuing smokers.
Ulcers are reduced
- Bladder cancer is reduced by 50% a few years after quitting
- Peripheral artery disease is reduced compared to continuing smokers
- Cervical cancer is reduced by a few years compared to continuing smokers
- Low-birth weight babies are reduced to that of a nonsmoker in women who quit before pregnancy or during the first trimester
[DHHS Publication No. (CDC) 90-8419]
How to Register
Patients may participate in the Tobacco Research and Treatment Program (TRTP) via several referral methods.
Provider Referral - Ask your provider to refer you to the program.
Self-Referral - Send an email to email@example.com or call the 2-QUIT line at 713-792-7848 (local) or 866-245-0862 (toll-free).
Walk-in – Visit the Behavioral Research & Treatment Center reception desk, located on the second floor of the Dan L. Duncan building. Get directions to MD Anderson.
MyChart - MD Anderson patients who are tobacco users or recent quitters are proactively identified via the electronic Patient History Database. TRTP staff will contact those identified to offer participation in the program.
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If you have questions about the Tobacco Research and Treatment Program, call 713-792-QUIT or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.