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Quitting Smoking Can Increase Lung Cancer Survival Odds

Early-stage lung cancer patients could benefit from smoking cessation support

FRIDAY, Jan. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Early-stage lung cancer patients who are smokers when they are diagnosed may significantly increase their chances of survival if they quit smoking, according to a study published online Jan. 21 in BMJ.

Amanda Parsons, of the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a systematic review of 10 randomized controlled trials and longitudinal studies that looked at the impact of smoking cessation on lung cancer survival rates.

The majority of the studies involved mostly patients with early-stage lung cancer, and found that for non-small cell lung cancer the odds of all-cause mortality were 2.94 times higher for those who did not quit smoking compared to those who quit, and the odds of recurrence were 1.86 times higher in this group of patients. The odds of developing a second primary tumor in cases of limited small cell lung cancer were 4.31 times higher in persistent smokers, the risk of recurrence was 1.26 times higher and the risk of all-cause mortality was 1.86 times higher, the investigators found.

"These data provide a strong case that smoking cessation treatment for early-stage lung cancer patients who have been unable to quit may have an important role in secondary prevention," the authors write. "From life table modeling, the estimated number of deaths prevented is larger than would be expected from reduction of cardiorespiratory deaths after smoking cessation, so most of the mortality gain is likely to be due to reduced cancer progression."

One co-author has been a consultant for the manufacturers of smoking cessation drugs, and Parsons has been reimbursed by Pfizer for attending a conference.

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