It is well known that smoking is bad to your health. It can lead to lung diseases like COPD, lung cancer, and asthma attacks.
Now a study shows that smoking may also affect long-term survival of breast cancer. The finding is published in JNCI Cancer Spectrum.
Researchers from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill wanted to know how smoking influences the 5-year survival of breast cancer.
They examined data from 1508 Long Island women with breast cancer. These women answered questions about their lifestyle, including smoking status.
The researchers followed them for 5 years, and these women responded to the same questions.
The results showed that women who smoked at the time of breast cancer diagnosis have 69% higher risk of mortality within 5 years compared with non-smokers.
For women who smoked fewer than 20 cigarettes/day, the mortality risk was 50% higher. For women who smoked more than 20 cigarettes/day, the mortality risk was 85% higher.
However, if a woman quit smoking after the diagnosis, her chance of mortality would be reduced greatly.
While breast cancer survival rate is high in the US currently, there are still about 40,000 women will die from the disease in 2017. Breast cancer has become the second leading cause of cancer-related death in women.
The researchers suggest that quitting smoking at and after diagnosis may reduce the risk of dying from breast cancer.
In fact, smoking cessation is one important behavioral change that may improve survival after breast cancer.
The researchers suggest that smoking cessation benefits even those who quit soon after diagnosis can be used as continued motivation for breast cancer survivors to pursue healthier lifestyle habits.
Tips to quit smoking:
Try to quit smoking at the end of your period. At that time, your mood is relatively stable, and you will not rely on cigarette as much as during the period.
Be prepared to gain a little body weight. Smoking can help lose weight, but it does lots of harms to your health. You can lose the weight by exercise, which is much better than smoking.
Don’t diet during quitting. Dieting while quitting smoking may give you too much pressure, and when you feel stressed, you tend to smoke more.
Find some support. You may need to share your feelings and learn from others’ experiences. Find comfort from your family and friends.