Posts Tagged ‘lung cancer prevention’

Cancer Risk Dramatically Reduced Since Landmark Smoking Report Issued 50 years Ago

Dr. Fadlo KhuriFifty years ago this month, Dr. Luther Terry, Surgeon General of the United States, issued the landmark 1964 Surgeon General’s Report providing the first definitive proof that cigarette smoking causes both lung and laryngeal cancer. This announcement came after a committee of experts had worked for 18 months, reviewing more than 7,000 published papers and engaging 150 consultants.

The importance of this report and its findings cannot be overstated. Fifty years ago, we did not know that smoking definitely causes lung cancer and other diseases, only that smoking was associated with a higher risk of these diseases. Recognizing that the impact of tobacco on our national and, indeed, the world’s health was the major public health issue of the day, Dr. Terry assembled an unimpeachable panel of distinguished physicians and scientists. He chose individuals for the panel who were not only among the giants of medicine and science, but were also objective and could ensure the integrity of the report.

The report was based on what ranked as the largest and most careful review of the medical literature yet undertaken. Most importantly, the report was clear, evidence based and unequivocal. It showed beyond a shadow of a doubt that smoking caused both lung cancer and larynx cancer. The report concluded that cigarette smoking is 1) a cause of lung cancer and laryngeal cancer in men; 2) a probable cause of lung cancer in women; and 3) the most important cause of chronic bronchitis.

The impact of the report on public perception was astonishing. In 1958, only 44% of Americans believed that smoking seriously impacted health, according to a Gallup Poll. Ten years later, and four years after the report’s release, that number had climbed to 78%. The report also galvanized the anti-tobacco movement. Its findings have lent enormous credence to smoking cessation efforts over the last 50 years. In 1964, 52% of adult men and 35% of adult women smoked cigarettes. This had fallen to 21.6% of adult men and 16.5% of adult women by 2011.

Today, we are certain that tobacco causes some of the most widespread and devastating diseases in the world, including cancers of the lung, larynx (voice box), esophagus, mouth, throat and bladder, which together account for about 30% of the world’s cancer-related deaths. Tobacco is also a major cause of heart disease, emphysema and other diseases of the lungs and heart.

There have been several subsequent reports issued by the Surgeons General, the latest an eye-opening look at smoking behavior among the younger generation. This, like all prior reports, builds on that first landmark report from a great physician leader and his matchless panel of experts. The impact of their efforts on smoking in the US and the world is unquestionable. The debt that the world owes these 12 brave scientists has never been greater.

Author: Fadlo R. Khuri, MD, deputy director, Winship Cancer Institute

Want to learn more about the impact of the 1964 Surgeon General’s Report on smoking? View this video as Dr. Khuri further discusses the effect the report has had on the medical community.

About Dr. Fadlo Khuri
Fadlo R. Khuri, MD, deputy director of the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University and Professor and Chairman of the Department of Hematology & Medical Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine, is a leading researcher and physician in the treatment of lung and head and neck cancers. He is Editor-in-Chief of the American Cancer Society’s peer-reviewed journal, Cancer.

Dr. Khuri’s contributions have been recognized by a number of national awards, including the prestigious 2013 Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Memorial Award, given to an outstanding cancer researcher by the American Association for Cancer Research.

An accomplished molecular oncologist and translational thought leader, Dr. Khuri has conducted seminal research on oncolytic viral therapy, developed molecular-targeted therapeutic approaches for lung and head and neck tumors combining signal transduction inhibitors with chemotherapy, and has led major chemoprevention efforts in lung and head and neck cancers. Dr. Khuri’s clinical interests include thoracic and head and neck oncology. His research interests include development of molecular, prognostic, therapeutic, and chemopreventive approaches to improve the standard of care for patients with tobacco related cancers. His laboratory is investigating the mechanism of action of signal transduction inhibitors in lung and aerodigestive track cancers.

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“TOTAL” Care for Lung Cancer – One Team, One Place, One Goal

Winship Cancer Institute of Emory UniversityEspecially in their later stages, lung cancer and other pulmonary diseases can be very complex to treat. The treatment of lung cancer can involve pulmonary surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pulmonary medicine specialists, interventional pulmonologists, pathologists, researches, nurses and supportive care team members. Because the treatment of pulmonary diseases like lung cancer requires a multifaceted and comprehensive team approach, the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University has established the “TOTAL” Lung Clinic at Emory University Hospital Midtown.

The Winship Thoracic Oncology Treatment and Long Term Care Lung (TOTAL) Clinic at Emory University Hospital Midtown is designed to make it easier for patients with lung cancer and other pulmonary diseases to seek all of their treatment in one place, with one team who are working together to coordinate the care of each and every patient. Patients of the TOTAL Clinic are able to see up to four lung cancer specialists in one setting and one trip: thoracic surgeon; interventional pulmonologist; medical oncologist; and radiation oncologist. In addition, patients may consult with supportive services, including dietitians and social services, at the same visit and setting.

The TOTAL Clinic was started by the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University approximately a year ago to make the journey through lung cancer treatment and survival an easier one on our patients. Below, hear from two of the patients of the Thoracic Oncology Treatment and Long Term Care Lung Clinic  what comprehensive treatment and care means to them:

The team/clinic approach has worked well for me and continues to do so. Initially, I was referred to cardiac/thoracic department by neurology. It was here that I became acquainted with Dr. Berkowitz, Dr. Pickens, and Dr. Kono. I was diagnosed, given a plan of action, and started on this plan within days due to their cooperation and effort.

I applaud Emory for their approach to healing and their remarkable professionals.

-Elizabeth Ross

When I was diagnosed with lung cancer, there was no question as to where I would begin my treatment.Emory’s top-notch reputation has lived up to all my expectations.

Through the entire process I have felt the doctor’s, nurses, and staff genuinely care about my well-being. That is one less concern for me as I battle to defeat this disease.

-Belinda Conley

For more information on the TOTAL Clinic, the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, or lung cancer treatment programs available at Emory Healthcare, please use the “Related Resources” links below.

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How to Support Your Loved Ones in their Efforts to Quit Smoking

If you want a loved one to stop smoking and you feel tempted to nag him or her, you may want to try to curb your impulse. You might be doing more harm than good, a Winship Cancer Institute expert says. Reinforce positively and try not to nag, advises Carla Berg, Ph.D., a member of the Cancer Prevention and Control department of Winship and also a professor in the Rollins School of Public Health.

Help Your Loved Ones Quit SmokingWith Heart Month upon us and roughly 17-18%  of adults in the United States continuing to smoke, this is important. Smoking is not only is the major cause of lung cancer, the nation’s number one cancer killer, but it’s also responsible for as many as 30% of all coronary heart disease deaths in the United States each year. Smoking is a major risk factor for more than two dozen other cancers, including head and neck cancer, bladder cancer and stomach cancer.

Berg says an important component can be providing support to someone who is trying to quit. The initiation, maintenance and cessation of smoking is strongly influenced by other family members, Berg says. Smokers are more likely to marry smokers, to smoke the same number of cigarettes as their spouse, and to quit at the same time. Smokers who are married to nonsmokers or ex-smokers are more likely to quit and remain abstinent. In addition, married smokers have higher quit rates than those who are divorced, widowed or have never married. Research shows that support from the spouse and from other family members and friends is highly predictive of successful smoking cessation. In particular, supportive behaviors involving cooperative behaviors, such as talking the smoker out of smoking the cigarette, and reinforcement, such as expressing pleasure at the smoker’s efforts to quit, predict successful quitting. Negative behaviors, such as nagging the smoker and complaining about smoking, are predictive of relapse. In fact, supportive behaviors have been associated with initial smoking cessation, while negative or critical behaviors have been associated with earlier relapse.

In addition, encouraging the establishment of smoke-free homes reduces exposure to secondhand smoke among all people living with smokers. Because secondhand smoke exposure has been found to have detrimental effects on the cardiovascular health of people living with smokers, particularly children in homes where smoking occurs, promoting smoke-free homes is critical. Research also has shown that creating smoke-free homes also encourages attempts to quit smoking and reduced cigarette consumption among smokers.

Do:

  • Talk the smoker out of smoking the cigarette
  • Express pleasure at the smoker’s efforts to quit
  • Encourage smoke-free home policies
  • Support attempts to quit

Don’t:

  • Nag the smoker
  • Complain about smoking
  • Shun the smoker
  • Shame or guilt the smoker

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