Cancer Survivors Month: Free Help to Quit SmokingPosted on by
Dr. Lisa Richardson and Dr. Corinne Graffunder
June is Cancer Survivors Month, a time to celebrate all those who have bravely faced a cancer diagnosis. Thus, we feel it is appropriate to take a moment to reflect on the progress our nation has made in preventing and controlling cancer. While there is still much more that we need to understand, we’ve also learned a lot.
For cancer survivors in particular, we now know you can take important steps to lower the risk of cancer coming back. These include knowing your family health history and living a healthy lifestyle, including being physically active and eating a balanced diet.
A healthy lifestyle also means being tobacco-free.
Quitting Smoking Helps Treatment and Survival
If you know a cancer survivor who smokes, let them know that a critical step they can take to protect their health is to quit. Smoking not only causes cancer, but can also have a negative impact on cancer treatment and survival. People who smoke while having cancer treatment may not respond as well as those who don’t smoke. Smoking can also make it more likely for the cancer to come back, for the survivor to get a new cancer related to smoking, or for them to die. The bottom line is: quitting smoking can improve the outlook for treatment and survival.
To support Cancer Survivors Month, we are sharing resources to help people quit smoking. CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control and the Office on Smoking and Health are spreading the message that free tools and resources are available to help cancer survivors quit for good.
Quitting Smoking Is Possible!
Cancer survivors and their friends and family members can hear stories and be inspired by individuals who have successfully quit smoking by visiting CDC’s Tips from Former Smokers® (Tips) website. The Tips campaign, now in its eighth year, highlights many health problems caused by, linked to, or made worse by smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke. Cancer is one of these health problems.
The Tips website has information about a number of free quitting resources, including the national quitline, 1-800-QUIT NOW, a texting program, the quitSTART app, and information about how to build your own quit plan. The site also includes tools and resources for health care providers, so they can help their patients quit for good.
When a loved one is diagnosed with cancer, support from family and friends goes a long way in sustaining and improving the patient’s emotional and physical health and well-being. This support doesn’t stop when cancer treatment ends, but continues into cancer survivorship.
Support is also incredibly important in helping someone quit smoking. Family, friends, and other caregivers can and should encourage cancer survivors who smoke to try to quit and support them until they succeed. While quitting might not be easy and can take time, the love and support from family and friends can make the quit journey much easier. We hope the free quitting tools and resources CDC has available can help.