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Study: 18 Percent of Lung Cancer Patients Still Smoking

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.) -- A study paid for by the U.S. National Cancer Institute found that many lung cancer patients as well as their caregivers continue to smoke after diagnosis, despite the compromising affect smoking may have on the recovery process.

Researchers report that of 742 lung cancer patients and caregivers, 18 percent continued smoking, and it may be due to feelings of guilt or social stigmas.

Lead author on the study, Kathryn E. Weaver said, "The biggest obstacle is fatalism, the belief that it is too late to quit smoking so why bother."

But, she adds, there are benefits of kicking the habit that are relative to one's chances of survival such as response to treatments and quality of life.

Bottom line, the study -- recently published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention -- highlights the need for more counseling and medication for patients and caregivers to overcome their smoking addiction and make healthier choices, Weaver said.

Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 

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