Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Please Stop Smoking!

Over the last few months I have found several lung cancers. Often the patient will present to the office with a "cough that won't go away!" The first thing I ask them is if they have ever smoked or used tobacco in any form and then I ask them when their last chest x ray was. One issue I am having is when a patient actually tells me that they don't smoke because their spouse or children are sitting in the room and they actually do! This can delay treatment.
I ask patients if they are ready to quit smoking and what methods that they've tried so far. Most patients weren't ready to quit. That's the main reason for failure. One must make up their mind to quit, have a plan for quitting and have a good support system. Sometimes a patient is undermined by their spouse because they need a smoking buddy and they don't want them to quit. It's funny how that works when you are trying to diet too! Just about the time that you make up your mind to lose 5 pounds, your mother in law will go into a baking frenzy! Mine did... Needless to say, the 5 pounds probably won't be going anywhere soon.
I was surfing on the net looking for quit programs when I came across one that is studying the efficacy of different treatments. "You will follow a course of active treatment for 12 weeks and receive varenicline, bupropion, transdermal nicotine patch or placebo (an inactive substance that looks like the study drugs). You will not know whether you receive one of the study drugs or placebo and neither will the study doctor. After you complete the 12 weeks of active treatment, there is an additional 12 week non-treatment follow-up phase." I am looking forward to it's research findings especially since it's using a placebo method. I have often wondered about how many people who take the placebo will quit smoking anyway.
Whatever way you do it, just stop smoking! I hate giving patient's bad news. It's going to be bad news either way.. Cancer or COPD. Both are not a fun way to die.

No comments:

Post a Comment