Cancer Patients Who Won't Quit Smoking Need a Reality Check

woman smokingI cannot, for the life of me, think of anything more dense than refusing to take care of your health. It's not that I don't believe it's an individual's prerogative if they want to say, "Screw it, I'm gonna die some day anyway, so I might as well enjoy my favorite vice here and now." A person's certainly free to free to feel that way, but it doesn't mean they don't need a wake-up call.

Take these people with lung cancer who were recently studied by the American Cancer Society. Researchers looked at smoking rates in a little over 5K lung and colorectal cancer patients. At the time of their diagnosis, 39 percent of those with lung cancer and 14 percent of those with colon cancer smoked. Five months later, 14 percent of lung cancer patients and 9 percent of colon cancer patients were still smoking. Sure, it's fewer, but still ... why the heck would anyone battling cancer continue to light up, unless they had a death wish? It's INSANITY!

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Listen, my own mother drives me crazy when it comes to this tough topic. A life-long smoker who is now almost 58 years old, she just LOVES to joke about how one day she's going to be diagnosed with lung cancer and have to speak -- and yes, keep on smoking!! -- through a machine hooked up to a hole in her throat. Ha ha ha, soooo funny.

Except it isn't. No, not at all. Any smoker -- especially those who have already been diagnosed with cancer -- who won't even attempt to quit is acting selfish. They might think it's their choice or that they have no choice but to kill themselves, and yeah, that's their right as a human being in control of their own destiny. Fine. But they should also stop and think for a second about who else they're hurting in the process. Spouses, children, friends, grandchildren they could have more time with if only they made an effort to ash out their nasty habit.

Maybe this study is also a sign people who refuse to quit despite a cancer diagnosis need more support from their loved ones and doctors, but I'm sure they could find it if they asked. With hope, this study clues more of us in to their cry for help, because I couldn't possibly imagine that anyone actually thinks smoking their way to the grave is the best way to go.

Why do you think some people who are diagnosed with cancer refuse to quit smoking?


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