Friday, February 17, 2012

Quitting Smoking Doubles Survival in Early Stage Lung Cancer

(HealthDay News) -- Quitting smoking after a diagnosis of early stage lung cancer doubles the odds that a patient will live another five years, a new study finds.

"The results are quite dramatic. I don't think anybody would have expected such a dramatic difference. It's incredible," said Dr. Norman Edelman, chief medical officer for the American Lung Association. "The important caveat is that this is early lung cancer."

Early stage lung malignancies can have cure rates of 50 percent to 60 percent, Edelman noted. The tragedy is that very few lung cancers (perhaps 20 percent, the authors stated) are diagnosed at this early stage.

The new findings are published in the Jan. 21 online edition of BMJ.

According to an accompanying journal editorial, fewer than one-third of all patients with lung cancer are still alive just one year after diagnosis.

Of course, the best way to prevent lung cancer is to never smoke, or to quit if you do smoke. People who quit smoking have a dramatically lower incidence of being diagnosed with lung cancer over the life span, experts note. Read more...

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