Hollings Cancer Center

A National Cancer Institute Designated Cancer Center

Smoking Cessation for Cancer Patients

Breaking a cigarette in half

One of every three cancer deaths in the nation is linked to smoking.

For cancer patients, quitting smoking is one of the most beneficial things you can do to help improve treatment outcomes. In addition to lung cancer, smoking also can cause acute myeloid leukemia and cancers of the trachea and bronchus, oropharynx, esophagus, larynx, stomach, bladder, kidney and ureter, pancreas, uterus and cervix, colon and rectum and liver, according to Surgeon General’s reports.

The MUSC Health Hollings Cancer Center (HCC) is comprised of clinicians, basic science researchers and public health scientists working together to prevent, diagnose and treat patients who are faced with cancer. In an effort to reduce the cancer burden in our state, our experts are addressing tobacco-related cancers from all angles, including population sciences and disparities research, drug discovery and survivorship research.

Cancer caused by smoking include oropharynx, larynx, esophagus, trachea, bronchus, lung, acute myeloid leukemia, stomach, liver, pancreas, kidney and ureters, cervix, bladder and colorectal.

For cancer patients, smoking is proven to:

  • Cause complications from surgery
  • Reduce efficacy of chemotherapy and radiotherapy
  • Increase chances of developing a second primary tumor
  • Lead to additional risks of cancer recurrence
  • Cause side effects

Recognizing the large number of health issues related to tobacco-caused cancers and the effect of smoking on cancer treatment, HCC has developed a robust Tobacco Treatment Program. HCC supports ongoing tobacco research, resources and counseling services for smokers, and a Lung Cancer Screening Program  along with specific initiatives for cancer patients being treated at HCC.

As part of the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), HCC participates in a number of research studies. New research opportunities are offered on a routine basis and provide alternative methods to individuals who are trying to quit smoking. Ongoing tobacco research is conducted through the South Carolina Tobacco Research Group, SC TRIG, a focus group for researchers, clinicians, and staff at MUSC.

Our Commitment to South Carolina

Each year since 2010, $5 million of annual spending is allocated to HCC through the state cigarette surtax providing crucial funds for HCC. This money allows for the recruitment of leading experts in cancer care and tobacco control, support of shared resources used to conduct cutting-edge research and funding of pilot projects and clinical trials to study new therapies and treatments.