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Telephone-Based Counseling Effective Way To Encourage Smokers To Quit

Update Date: Feb 16, 2017 09:00 AM EST

Lung cancer is a malignant tumor in the lungs due to uncontrolled growth of cell tissues. Out of those people diagnosed by lung cancer, 85 percent are long time smokers. It is the most common cancer-related death in men and ranks second as the most common cancer-related death in women next to breast cancer.

In 2014, over one billion people are smoking which is nearly 20 percent of the world population. And although 70 percent of smokers want to quit smoking, only about 3 to 6 percent have successfully quit smoking without any help. According to News Medical, researchers have found out that telephone-based smoking cessation counseling is effective to be given to people who just finished lung cancer screening.

Lead researcher Kathryn L. Taylor, PhD, said that they found out that telephone-based smoking cessation counseling is effective right after lung cancer screening. Because during this time, they are thinking about their health and might be ready for change. She also said that offering help at this time might make a big difference and could change lives.

This study was published at the Journal Lung Cancer in February 14 and was led by researchers from Georgetown Lombardi. The research was conducted with 92 participants from three centers namely Medical Center in Massachusetts, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital in Washington D.C. and Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey.

 In this preliminary study, 92 people who were about to take lung cancer screening agreed to receive either the standard of care or telephone counseling. After their lung cancer screening, each participant were randomize to one of two groups with each group consists of 46 participants.

Each group had an equal number of participants with abnormal screening findings, signifying possible precancerous lesions or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Each group also consists of participants with minor abnormal findings as well as those with normal screen findings. None of these participants were diagnosed with lung cancer.

Right after their screening results came out, participants in telephone-counseling group were given their first counseling session. Six 10-15 minute counseling sessions were performed over the next three months. After this period, participants who said they had quit smoking were given a nicotine saliva test in order to confirm their abstinence.

After the test, researchers found out that eight participants from the telephone counseling group were verifiably quit smoking. On the other hand, only two did actually quit from smoking from the other group.

Although people who are smoking is declining, more than 150,000 people are still dying from lung cancer every year, as per The Californian. And this study might be helpful to reduce the number of deaths cause by lung cancer. It is so promising that investigators funded through NIH to carry out a wider study of smoking cessation counseling that are telephone-based. The study be conducted at five medical centers and will enroll 1,300 patients.

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