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Invited Commentary
September 27, 2019

Effective Cessation Treatment for Patients With Cancer Who Smoke—The Fourth Pillar of Cancer Care

Author Affiliations
  • 1University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Department of Medicine and Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention, Madison
  • 2University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, University of Wisconsin, Madison
JAMA Netw Open. 2019;2(9):e1912264. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.12264

For half a century, the practice of evidence-based oncology care has depended on 3 primary intervention strategies: surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. These 3 pillars are buttressed by compelling data showing that they improve outcomes with the incident cancer as well as extend life overall. Despite the effectiveness of these intervention strategies and newer approaches, such as immunotherapies, cancer remains a health problem that exacts great human and economic costs. A recent American Cancer Society study shows that about 1.7 million new cancer cases are projected in the United States in 2019; approximately 1660 Americans are expected to die of cancer each day.1 Smoking-related health care expenditures account for an estimated 5% to 14% of the total health care expenditures in the United States.2 These outcomes are linked by a common cause—tobacco use—which is the leading preventable cause of cancer and responsible for approximately 30% of all cancer deaths each year.3

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