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Smoking may make cancer pain worse
December 22nd, 2010
12:14 PM ET

Smoking may make cancer pain worse

When people who smoke find out they have cancer, often one of the first things the doctor tells them to do is stop smoking.  Now researchers say there is evidence to suggest that cancer patients who keep smoking experience greater pain than nonsmokers.

Researchers surveyed 224 cancer patients with a range of diagnoses.  They asked about pain severity, distress from pain and how pain interfered in their everyday life.  Patients were asked to rate their pain and how much it interfered with their daily routine.  They found smokers experienced more severe pain than people who have never smoked or ex-smokers.  Cancer patients who smoke also reported more interference from pain than people who don't smoke.

The study also found an "inverse relationship" between pain and the number of years since quitting.  That means the longer it had been since a cancer patient had quit smoking, the less pain they had.

The study is published in the January 2011 issue of the journal, Pain.


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soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. kill tobacco

    I quite using chantix. It took me three tries but it is the greatest accomplishment in my life, even if I do end up dying from years of tobacco abuse. At least I corrected my own behavior and subsequent self worth. Given that scientists now know that tobacco can be used as a highly efficient clean burning bio fuel that produces 100% protein byproduct, the question is, why the hell is consumer tobacco still legal and not being utilize to free outselves of foreigh oil?

    December 22, 2010 at 12:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • RUSH

      Is there any tobacco in cigarettes? I didnt think there would be any room with all the additives they use in there.

      December 22, 2010 at 15:26 | Report abuse |
  2. rob

    I quit smoking too. Yet, i haven't turned into the self righteous ex-smoker you have.

    December 22, 2010 at 12:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. J.BEASLEY

    Bull – S*** I've been smoking for 55 years (Why am I not dead) The real #1 killer in this country is
    alcohol & alcohol related deaths...I wonder how many people have died across this country due to alcohol in the
    time it took to read this comment compared to so called tobacco deaths..A person could get run
    over by a Semi-Truck and have a pack of cigarettes in his pocket and guess how he died (tobacco).

    December 22, 2010 at 12:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • will

      My mom smoked over 60 years. She died last Monday from lung cancer at the age of 78. Quit now!!!

      December 22, 2010 at 15:01 | Report abuse |
    • GodTookNoPart

      Moron

      December 22, 2010 at 15:57 | Report abuse |
    • dofhacc

      It is all in the numbers. Smoking does not guarantee death by lung cancer, it does significantly increase the risk, however. You seem to be one of the lucky ones who have so far escaped that death sentence. On the other hand, I will bet money you are much less healthy than people of your age who didn’t smoke.
      Another small point, the dead don’t speak. How many people die every day from smoking related diseases? A lot of people die every day from smoking related diseases. They are silenced forever, while you are still here to spout your nonsense. Think of all those who died to soon from smoking before you make such silly claims and comments.

      December 23, 2010 at 15:10 | Report abuse |
  4. Taylor

    beasley, you're an idiot. count your blessings because you're one of the lucky few but dont try and minimize the health consequences of smoking

    December 22, 2010 at 13:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Lane

    J.Beasley - your comments have nothing to do with the actual article, which concerns the amount of pain experienced by smoking vs. nonsmoking cancer patients. It makes sense that smokers would experience more pain, as smoking is one of many causes of inflammation, and the more inflammation one has, the more pain one experiences. This applies whether or not the person has cancer. It's also quite likely that people who have inflammation from other causes would also experience more pain if they had cancer. Maybe you should stop being so defensive about smoking and do a little research in physiology. Or maybe it's just easier to spew hostility....

    December 22, 2010 at 13:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • RUSH

      Present your proof of that or screw off

      December 22, 2010 at 15:16 | Report abuse |
  6. Molly

    Yeah J. Beasley! You figured out what modern medicine and science have got wrong- smoking isn't bad for you, because J. Beasley hasn't died from it yet!
    Idiot.

    December 22, 2010 at 13:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. chris

    my grandmother in-law died of lung cancer, and smoked multiple packs a day through the whole process.... She had probably the worst cancer death I'd heard of from anyone anywhere – she was pretty much rotting in her bed before she actually died.
    If you smoke...quit....now.

    December 22, 2010 at 13:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. J.BEASLEY

    Taylor , Lane , Molly need to get a life and quit "acting" like they are intelligent...

    December 22, 2010 at 13:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mitch

      BEASLEY, get a scope down into your lungs and take a look around. Pretty sure you'd be disgusted. Just google some smokers lung images. If you're OK with how they look, you sir are ignorant and have other issues.

      December 22, 2010 at 14:48 | Report abuse |
  9. sean

    look at gorge burns he lived till he was 101

    December 22, 2010 at 13:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • RUSH

      The old timer liked his cigars – good for him. Womanizing and smoking cigars til he couldnt take it anymore. Admirable

      December 22, 2010 at 15:24 | Report abuse |
  10. jesus christo

    smoking is good for you. it will make you live for ever

    December 22, 2010 at 14:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Bill

    I have smoked for about 55 years, and was diagnosed with bladder cancer 6 years ago. I have not had any treatment for it and have had no pain at all. Most medical studies make sure they ask the right people so they get the answers they are looking for.
    BEASLEY has it right. Alcohol is the cause of more violence, accidents and deaths than tobacco ever was. With all the carcinigens in the air and food, why is tobacco the only one blamed for cancer???

    December 22, 2010 at 15:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Erin876

      Alcohol is blamed for some cancers but the amount of cancer caused by alcohol is extremely small compared to the amount of cancer caused by cigarettes. Smoking is still the number one preventable cause of death in the US. Closely followed by obesity. This article doesn't say whether or not these cancer patients were being treated, maybe your absence of pain is because you don't have chemo drugs in you. Also, just because it doesn't happen to you doesn't mean the whole study is wrong. There is no Always or Never in medicine.

      December 22, 2010 at 21:06 | Report abuse |
  12. WAKE UP

    Ciggarettes kill, why are they made? Oh thats right cause the CANCER is an industry of profit. Do people really think the world is gonna get better with money and capitalism?

    December 22, 2010 at 15:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • RUSH

      Chill out and light up dude.
      And the world is already in the crapper with or without money and/or capitalism. And the reason for that is not because of cigarettes.

      December 22, 2010 at 15:21 | Report abuse |
  13. Zoe Morrow

    Not everyone who runs in front of a speeding train with a blindfold is killed, but that doesn't mean you should take up this activity. The odds are way against you surviving. Millions of people die from cigarettes either from smoking them or inhaling them second hand. Smoking is a scourge and people should quit like yesterday. As I see it, smoking is slow motion suicide and anti-social because it also affects others.

    December 22, 2010 at 15:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. tamborine

    There was a time that the hazards of smoking were not as widely known as they are today.
    That being said....chosing to smoke (ESPECIALLY with the diagnosis of cancer) is just confirmation of ones overall stubbornness and self-serving behavior. But then again this is the US...where such behavior is the norm.

    December 22, 2010 at 15:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. V Saxena

    smokewithoutfear.com

    E-cigs work! Takes getting used too, but they'll take away the risk of cancer. The only remaining risks you incur are those from nicotine. But if you exercise and eat well, you can mitigate these risks. I'm serious too! Every day I smoke an e-cig instead of a cig, my lungs get more and more powerful. It's like I'm regaining a lifetime of lost endurance and stamina!

    December 22, 2010 at 16:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. moma4

    To each his own if you choose for your life to smoke, just dont do it around small children who have no choice or anywhere around non-smokers, then your good, do as you like, its your body, but dont force your 1st hand, 2nd and now 3rd smoke on me or any other person who cant stand it.

    December 22, 2010 at 21:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Emily

      Agree. I hate when I see people smoking with children in the car, especially when they either don't crack the window or have it cracked about half an inch.

      December 23, 2010 at 10:23 | Report abuse |
  17. SAM

    And What about ALCOHOL ????????? Oh thats right ALCOHOL IS GOOD FOR EVERYONE

    December 23, 2010 at 13:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Rooster

    The best way to quit smoking is to just quit. I did it after 30 years of puffing and never used a patch,pill, chewing gum, hypnosis. COLD TURKEY works better than anything. (at least for me it did,) That was 15 years ago and I haven't looked back. Afriend of mine told me that they cost over five bucks a pack now !! Sounds like I've save myself a bundle.

    December 24, 2010 at 11:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Ashley Williams

    I really agree with your views and ideas. The information were really inspiring and motivating.Our site http://www.painlessstopsmoking.com will be a boon to all smokers who wants to quit and start a new life.

    September 20, 2011 at 06:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Volish

    My boss is as well keen of YouTube comic video clips, he also watch these even in company hehehe.. Volish http://www.billbin.pl/volish.html

    February 23, 2013 at 20:57 | Report abuse | Reply

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.