Physicians have great potential influence over patients' smoking-related decisions, suggests a new study in which informed patients with bladder cancer were able to acknowledge tobacco's role in their disease progression.
Published online Nov. 10 in the journal CANCER, the study led by Jeffrey Bassett, MD, MPH, of the University of California, Los Angeles, surveyed 790 bladder cancer survivors diagnosed between 2006 and 2009 in California (68% of the group had a tobacco use history). The link between tobacco use and bladder cancer remains somewhat hidden to both the public and the medical community, but the survey found that smokers who said their urologist was their primary information source were 2.80 times more likely to believe that smoking caused their cancer.
Bassett said the study's findings “highlight the importance of the diagnosing physician in making sure that their patients are aware of the role that smoking played in their new cancer diagnosis. Patients who have this knowledge are better equipped to use the cancer diagnosis as motivation for quitting smoking, thereby improving their odds of survival.”
Bassett added that the survey's findings help debunk the myth that smokers refuse to acknowledge the detrimental health effects of tobacco use.