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Stub it out! How to really give up smoking?

90 percent of those diagnosed with lung cancer are smokers. Enough said. It doesn’t take much to add two and two and see that giving up smoking is the best prevention there is. Some manage to stub it out for good, others are recidivist offenders. Right motivation, says the expert, is the divide between success or failure.

“Giving up smoking is the best known preventive measure to avoid lung cancer,” says Dr. Mónika Solymos, internist and cardiologist at Dr. Rose Private Hospital. “I have seen many patients try to quit but eventually the majority failed to meet their own resolution. If you want to kick the addiction because you heard that it is unhealthy or dangerous, it might not give you enough motivation to go through with it. When the resolution doesn’t come with personal conviction, when you are talked into the decision, then it feels more like self-abnegation. You know that it’s bad for you but what to do when cigarettes are a source of some pacifying pleasure in your life?”

On the other hand, once you are genuinely motivated by the advantages of living a smokefree life, you don’t brood over the withdrawal symptoms any more but delve into the benefits of being a non-smoker. “You feel and perform way better, you can breathe at last, your sense of smell and taste is back to normal, that horrid morning cough is relieved, your sex life improves, and you can better keep wrinkles at bay. Have you thought about how much you can save in a year by not buying a pack a day?” asks Dr. Solymos, pointing out that seeking professional help pays off in the long run. “An expert in addictology is coaching you to prepare for the challenge and avoid the usual pitfalls, so that you can persevere and stay smokefree for good.” For your own good, we may add. So go for it, stub it out if you haven’t done it yet!

Good to know

Lung cancer is an inconspicuous condition at first. That is why regular screening is important to detect it at an early stage. By the time the usual symptoms – chronic cough, spitting blood, chest and back pain, heavy breathing – and palpable medical anomalies – loss of weight and appetite, high temperature – are evident, we are talking about advanced lung cancer. Every fourth case diagnosed is categorised as small-cell lung cancer – smoking is a dominant causative factor that brings it along. This type of cancer spreads early on, and the best protocol is the combination of radio- and chemotherapy. Roughly 75% of all diagnosed lung cancers are non-small cell type. Depending on the stage and extent of the illness, surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy are the most effective curative methods.