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1/5 of British adult survivors of childhood cancer smoke despite hazards
Date:7/29/2008

ere more likely to smoke than those who did.

The rate of current smoking in the survivors was approximately half of the rate in the general British population. The socioeconomic factors that are associated with an increased risk of smoking in the general public, though, are the same as those in the adult survivor group, including manual occupations compared with managerial or professional work, lower educational attainment, and being widowed, divorced, or separated.

The relatively high rate of smoking in survivors of Wilms tumor, Hodgkin lymphoma, and soft tissue sarcomas is concerning because previous research suggests that these survivors are at a particularly high risk for second malignancies.

The researchers conclude that although the rate of smoking in adult survivors of childhood cancer is lower than in the general public, further efforts are needed to reduce the smoking prevalence in this group. In general, any program of clinical follow-up for survivors of childhood cancer should include advice on the health risks of smoking, the authors assert. "Smoking cessation interventions would be more appropriate for the [British Childhood Cancer Survivor Study] cohort than smoking prevention interventions because a high proportion of the survivors were older than the age at which most individuals initiate smoking (i.e., ≤20 years of age)," the authors write.

In an accompanying editorial, Karen Emmons, Ph.D., of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard School of Public Health in Boston notes that the new findings are remarkably similar to data from the U.S. Childhood Cancer Survivor Study, in which 17 percent of adult survivors reported being current smokers and 28 percent reported being ever smokers. The good news is that the rates are lower than the general public. The bad news, according to Emmons, is that for the survivors who do smoke, the habit is likely to exacerbate the already negative long-term effects of cancer
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Contact: Liz Savage
elizabeth.savage@oxfordjournals.org
301-841-1287
Journal of the National Cancer Institute
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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