Quitting smoking can be one of the greatest challenges a person can face. We all know very plainly what the dangers associated with it can be, but it is an addiction that many struggle with daily. Even those who have already been diagnosed with cancer struggle to kick the habit, knowing fully that it contributed to their condition and continues to make it worse. New research from the psychology department at Texas A&M University should give cancer patients an added incentive to quit smoking.
The upcoming January 2011 issue of Pain features study results that indicate significantly more pain suffered by cancer patients who are current or former smokers. For those who had quit, their pain was lesser depending on how long ago they had done so. This study consisted of 224 patients with various cancer diagnoses and histories of smoking.
It would seem like an obvious fact for smoking cessation to be stressed by doctors, but research of this nature should likely put more weight on the decision to stop than words alone. Whether its with gum, patches, or prescription medications, quitting smoking can be painful enough on its own; both on the body and the wallet. Even though there is definitely need for more research into what the exact connection between cancer related pain and nicotine is, this discovery should begin to help develop better ways of helping smokers quit.
In addition to lessening the pain associated with cancer and its various treatments, smoking cessation can help improve the response of those treatments as well. It is unfortunate that it can be so late in life that we realize how fragile it truly is, but better late than never as they say. Non smokers enjoy a much greater quality of life, no matter when you become one.