Smoking cancer patients suffer greater pain

Posted on Jan 2, 2011 in Uncategorized

Texas A&M University researchers suggest smoking cessation would help reduce the severity of cancer- or treatment-induced bodily pain and smoking would otherwise interfere with a cancer patient’s daily life.

Smoking is known to boost cancer risk. But the study published in the Jan 2011 issue of Pain found smokers suffered greater pain and they were less likely than non-smokers to live a normal life due to the cancer pain they experienced.

Joseph W. Ditre, PhD and colleagues questioned 224 cancer patients with a different type of cancer at a different stage about the pain they experienced in terms of the severity, pain-related stress, pain interference.

The researchers found current smokers reported more severe cancer- or treatment-induced pain and greater interference from the pain they experienced than never smokers.

Among ex-smokers, those who quit long time ago experienced less severe pain and less interference from the pain for their daily routine, compared with current smokers.

Lori Bastian, MD of Duke University, wrote in an accompanying commentary “Clinicians must do more to assist cancer patients to quit smoking after their diagnosis.”

“Preliminary findings suggest that smoking cessation will improve the overall treatment response and quality of life.”

Pargeon KL, Hailey BJ. of University of Southern Mississippi reported in the Nov 1999 issue of Journal of Pain Symptoms and Management that as many as 45 percent of patients in the earlier stages of cancer and 75 percent of patients in the advanced stages experienced at least some pain.

Prescription painkillers are available for cancer patients. But some patients with an advanced cancer say their pain is so severe that it can only be relieved by smoking medical marijuana, which is legal in more than a dozen states, but prohibited by the federal government.

Natural remedies for cancer pain are also available. According to, foods and nutrients that may be used to relieve cancer pain include flaxseed oil mixed with quark or cottage cheese, cherries, tempeh&fermented soy products, apple cider&honey, nutritional yeast, noni juice, mushrooms, Tian Xian Paste, yan hu suo, flor-essence/Essiac, vitamin B 17, vitamin C, vitamin K and vitamin B-3 (niacin) among other things.