Smoking & Cancer

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

For cancer patients, quitting 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 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.

For cancer patients, smoking is proven to:

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

  • 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.

If I can quit, anybody can quit.

Deborah Giles smoked three packs a day for decades and had given up hope of ever quitting, but then along came Katherine Hoover, PharmD.

 Read the Story

Deborah Giles, right, and her daughter, Amanda

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.

$12.5 M

Cutting-edge research requires the latest technology and expertise. State funding covers approximately 30% of costs for use of HCC shared resources by cancer investigators.

$10 M

This funding has supported 15 innovative research concepts, resulted in high-impact scientific publications, and developed innovative clinical trials.

$13.5 M

Since 2010, 23 nationally-recognized cancer experts have been recruited to the state assuming leadership roles both at HCC and MUSC.

 Health Focus Podcast

Common Barriers to Quitting Smoking

Bobbi Conner talks with Dr. Matthew Carpenter about some of the common barriers (and solutions) for quitting smoking. Dr. Carpenter is a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and he is a member of the Hollings Cancer Center's Cancer Control Research Program.

Tobacco control expert K. Michael Cummings, Ph.D.

Ready to Quit?

Handing holding a cigarette

MUSC Health's Tobacco Treatment Program is working to provide better education and resources for smokers in South Carolina.

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