It is never too late to quit. After a cancer diagnosis, quitting tobacco use can improve your health, make treatment easier and promote better quality of life. Although the process of quitting can be hard, there are many reasons for cancer patients to try and quit, and we want to help you be successful.
Quitting tobacco use after any cancer diagnosis can improve:
- How your body responds to cancer treatment.
- How effective some treatments are for your cancer.
- Your chance of not getting cancer again.
- Your chance of not getting a new cancer.
- Your chance of surviving cancer.
- Your quality of life.
For these reasons and more, quitting tobacco is one of the best things you can do for your health.
The Markey CARES Tobacco Treatment Program includes a wide range of approaches to help you quit. As someone receiving cancer care at Markey, you can expect:
- A simple screening program. This program will help determine your specific treatment needs.
- Personalized approaches to quitting. All current tobacco users will be asked if they want help to quit. If you are a tobacco user who says “yes,” then a tobacco treatment specialist will reach out to you to make a plan that matches your wishes and feels comfortable for you.
- Individual counseling sessions. Sessions can be conducted in-person or over the phone, and in some cases, there will not be a copay or any other cost to you.
- Medicine recommendations. Many clinicians at Markey – including oncologists, nurses and social workers – are knowledgeable about tobacco treatment medicines, and can give advice about which ones might be the best fit for you.
- Access to clinical trials. The following research studies are available for Markey patients who use tobacco:
- Consultation, Advice, and Tailored Support (CATS) for Cancer Survivors. This study is open to cervical and head/neck cancer patients who smoke. Free nicotine replacement therapy may be provided to participants. Contact Gaby Puleo at (859) 323-4834 for more information.
- Multiphase Optimization Strategy Framework with Treatment (MOST) for Individuals with Tobacco Related Cancers. This study is open to a broad range of individuals, including those with lung and head/neck cancer. Contact Elizabeth Rush at 859-218-6147 for more information.
- If you are a current or former smoker, lung cancer screening may be right for you. To learn more, contact Regina Prigge at 859-218-2881 or toll free at 844-SCN-LUNG, or visit our Lung Cancer Screening Program page.
The Markey CARES Tobacco Treatment Program team includes many researchers and clinicians at Markey:
- Jessica L. Burris, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Director of the Behavioral & Community-Based Shared Resource Facility
- Audrey Darville, PhD, APRN, CTTS, FAANP, Associate Professor of Nursing and Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist
- Joan Scales, MSSW, LCSW, Supervisor of Psycho-Oncology Services
- Brent Shelton, PhD, Division Chief of Cancer Biostatistics and Co-Director of Biostatistics Shared Resource Facility
- Joseph Valentino, MD, FACS, Professor of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery
- Courtney Blair, BA, Research Associate
To schedule an appointment with a tobacco treatment specialist in Oncology Social Work, please call 859-323-2798 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Launched by NCI in 2017 as part of the Cancer MoonshotSM, the Cancer Center Cessation Initiative aims to advance tobacco cessation efforts in cancer centers across the country. The video interviews the initiative’s leaders and representatives from funded cancer centers, who talk about their mission and how they are implementing tobacco cessation treatment in practice.
For more information on the initiative, please visit https://tobaccocontrol.cancer.gov/cessation-initiative.html.
In addition to services provided by the Markey CARES Tobacco Treatment Program, the following resources are available to those hoping to learn more about tobacco cessation.
- Quit Now Kentucky provides guidance and support throughout the quitting process. It offers free phone-based counselors and an online community. Enroll by visiting www.quitnowkentucky.org or calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-748-8669).
- Smokefree.gov offers quitting advice and tools tailored to a variety of groups, including people 60 years or older, Spanish speakers, women, and veterans.
- Become an EX provides a new way to think about quitting through a quit plan based on experiences from ex-smokers and the latest research from the Mayo Clinic.
- The National Cancer Institute offers free, confidential information about quitting tobacco, which you can access online or by calling 1-877-44U-QUIT (1-877-448-7848).
- The National Cancer Institute also offers a free, online booklet called Clearing The Air: Quit Smoking Today that is designed to support at any stage of your journey to quit.
- Springboard Beyond Cancer is a website that provides health information and support to people whose lives are affected by cancer, and it touches on the topic of smoking.
- Sign up for SmokefreeTXT to get trustworthy advice and support for quitting tobacco via text message. Text “MARKEY” to 47848 if you’re a Markey Cancer Center patient and are ready to quit tobacco now.
- QuitSTART APP provides 24/7 help on your smartphone. Download on the App Store (Apple) or Google Play (Android).
- KY Cancer Link provides free, in-person smoking cessation classes in the Lexington area. For more information, call 859-309-1700.
- Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center has a free guide to quitting, and it can help you identify the reasons you may want to quit and how to do so safely and effectively.
- The American Society of Clinical Oncology offers a free, online booklet of information to empower people to talk with their healthcare team about quitting tobacco after a cancer diagnosis.
This information is supported by a grant from the National Cancer Institute Cancer Center Cessation Initiative