An American Cancer Society study has found that nearly 1 in 10 survivors still smoke years after being diagnosed with cancer.
Researchers looked at data from 2,938 patients nine years after being diagnosed with one of the 10 most commons types of cancer: breast, bladder, prostate, uterine, melanoma, kidney, colorectal, Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, ovarian, and lung. They found that 9.3 percent had smoked within the past 30 days, and of those people, 83 percent smoked every day, averaging almost 15 cigarettes a day.
The highest rates of smoking were in patients diagnosed with smoking-related cancers: bladder (17.2 percent) and lung (14.9 percent). The researchers also found that survivors were more likely to smoke if they were female, younger, had a lower income or education level, and drank more alcohol.
"We need to follow up with cancer survivors long after their diagnoses to see whether they are still smoking and offer appropriate counseling, interventions, and possible medications to help them quit," Lee Westmaas, director of tobacco research at the American Cancer Society, said in a statement.
Close to half of the smokers said they planned to quit, while 10.1 percent said they did not. The study was published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.