Many longtime smokers quit spontaneously with little effort shortly before their lung cancer is diagnosed, leading some researchers to speculate that sudden cessation may be a symptom of lung cancer.
Most patients who quit did so before noticing any symptoms of cancer, according to the study, which was published in the March issue of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology (JTO), the official monthly journal of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC).
"It is widely known that many lung cancer patients have stopped smoking before diagnosis," said Dr. Barbara Campling, professor in the Department of Medical Oncology at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. "This observation is often dismissed, by saying that these patients must have quit because of symptoms of their cancer. However, we found that the majority of lung cancer patients who stopped smoking before diagnosis quit before the onset of symptoms. Furthermore, they often quit with no difficulty, despite multiple previous unsuccessful quit attempts. This has led us to speculate that, in some cases, spontaneous smoking cessation may be an early symptom of lung cancer."
Researchers interviewed 115 lung cancer patients from the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center, all of whom had been smokers. Fifty-five (48%) had quit smoking before diagnosis, and only six of those (11%) had experienced symptoms of lung cancer by the time they quit. Patients with lung cancer who quit were as dependent on nicotine, when their smoking was at its highest point, as those who continued to smoke. Yet 31% reported quitting with no difficulty.
For comparison, researchers also interviewed patients with prostate cancer and those who had suffered a heart attack. They found that the median interval between quitting smoking and lung cancer diagnosis was 2.7 years. This compared with 24.3 years for prostate cancer and 10 years for a heart attack.
Researchers speculated that spontaneous smoking cessation may be a presenting symptom of lung cancer, possibly caused by tumor secretion of a substance interfering with nicotine addiction.
The results should not encourage smokers to continue smoking, Campling said.
"There is a danger that this study could be misinterpreted as suggesting that heavy smokers should continue smoking," Campling said. "We emphasize that all smokers must be strongly encouraged to stop."Alternate media contact:
About the Journal of Thoracic Oncology:
The Journal of Thoracic Oncology (JTO) is the official monthly journal of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC). It is a prized resource for medical specialists and scientists who focus on the detection, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer. It emphasizes a multidisciplinary approach, including original research (clinical trials and translational or basic research), reviews and opinion pieces.
To find out more about the JTO please visit journals.lww.com. To learn more about the IASLC please visit iaslc.org.
Renée McGaw | EurekAlert!
Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland
Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke
The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
29.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
29.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
29.03.2017 | Earth Sciences