Smoking during cancer treatment
From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.
Smoking can give people head and neck cancer. And researcher Allen Chen of the University of California, Davis says continuing to smoke during treatment can defeat doctors’ attempts to help patients get well.
Chen looked at data on more than 100 head and neck cancer patients who smoked during radiation therapy. He says they were more likely to have the cancer come back, and more likely to die, than patients who quit smoking before starting treatment:
"Patients who continue to smoke even after a diagnosis of head and neck cancer do worse all around. If this isn’t enough evidence for a smoker with recently diagnosed cancer to quit, I’m not sure what is." (11 seconds)
The study in the Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology and Physics was supported by the National Institutes of Health.
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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.
Last revised: November 21, 2011