Is it ok to smoke when you are going through chemo?

6 answers | Last updated: Nov 29, 2016
Fuhrman asked...

Is it ok to smoke when you are going through chemo?


Expert Answers

Bruce A. Feinberg, MD, chief of the Georgia Cancer Specialists, is an oncologist and the author of Breast Cancer Answers and Colon Cancer Answers and a popular speaker on cancer-related topics.

It's much better to quit smoking if you possibly can. It's certainly a stressful time when you've been diagnosed with cancer, and some patients argue that they need to smoke to cope with the stress. But I tell my patients that there are many new therapies that make it easier to quit smoking, among them one called Chantix that's been very successful. And there are many reasons to quit smoking, both for your general health and to improve the odds that your cancer treatment will be successful. Will quitting smoking cure the cancer ? No, it won't. Will it prevent complications from arising during cancer treatment?Yes, it could, because smoking increases the risks of respiratory infection and other problems arising during treatement.

 

It's also possible that smoking can interfere with the action of chemotherapy treatment. We have very limited data on how the chemical constituents in tobacco interact with the drug metabolism, and smoking could increase the action of some drugs and decrease the action of others.

 

The goal of treatment is to cure the cancer so you have a healthy future, and quitting smoking is part of that goal.


Community Answers

Jacobite answered...

The effectiveness of chemotherapy is of itself debateable. Some European hospitals believe the more content a patient is, the better the chances of recovery. I am also uncertain as to the dangers of smoking, certainly nicotine stimulates the brain. As with so many illnesses our information is fragmentory, such as lower you cholesterol. Mine is very low, and thus I became a typical low cholesterol statistic, colon cancer. Confusing. Smoking is not great, however if it allays your fears, it has its place.


Johnny77 answered...

It is NEVER OK to smoke!!!!!


Oldfarmerf@aim.com answered...

Chantix is NOT a good choice. Many people have suicidal thoughts as well as terrible nightmares on this drug. Also, if you're worried about drug interactions, your best bet is to go cold turkey.How about a nicotine inhaler?


Baltinsky1 answered...

no smoking-- killsgen in blood stream 40%--regardless of why or what u smoke--it kills --destroys every healthy cell in your body--you must have oxygen to heal and smoking decreases oxy it's obvios you are addicted or u wouldn't even consider smoking--ever


Lizziekay41 answered...

ok? maybe. Foolish, definitely. Don't you want your body to HELP with the chemo? the nictine would help the cancer!! this is my reaction as a nurse & as someone who has never smoked.