UNC researchers have uncovered a lack of effective tobacco addiction treatment services for patients at cancer centers nationwide.
Dr. Adam Goldstein blamed the specialization of medicine on this lack of services.
“Cancer doctors as specialists have focused on trying to cure the cancer, but they also must focus on cures for the disease — addiction — that causes many cancers,” Goldstein said.
Researchers believe continued smoking after being diagnosed with cancer can shorten the prognosis of patients.
It also increases risk for more tumors and causes more problems after cancer surgery.
Goldstein said cancer patients’ physical and psychological issues have proven difficult to incorporate into oncology.
He said the National Cancer Institute has the tools to incorporate these practices in future cancer treatment.