Side Effects of Smoking and Drinking during Treatment

OncoLink
Ultima Vez Modificado:: 8 de junio de 2012

Question:

The doctor said my husband has to stop smoking and drinking or it could make his side effects worse. Is this true? If so, how do I get a guy who has smoked for over 25 years and also drinks alcohol to quit?

Is it true that smoking can increase the side effects of cancer treatment?

Answer:

Alexander Lin, MD, Radiation Oncologist at Penn Medicine, responds:

Quitting smoking is one of the most critical steps a patient should take in their therapy. Smoking during treatment can compromise the ultimate success of therapy (it has been shown that those who smoke during treatment have a lower cure rate compared to those who don't smoke during treatment). Additionally, those who continue to smoke are at a higher risk of developing another cancer in the future.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series. View the entire Head and Neck Cancer Q&A Webchat transcript.

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