Smoking cessation in patients with head and neck cancer
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Institute for Oncology and Radiology of Serbia, Beograd, Serbia
Department of Social Medicine, Institute for Public Health Kragujevac, Kragujevac, Serbia
University of Kragujevac, Kragujevac, Serbia
Department of Stomatology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Kragujevac, Kragujevac, Serbia
Faculty of Education in Jagodina, University of Kragujevac, Serbia
Publication date: 2020-10-22
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2020;6(Supplement):A46
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Head and neck cancers make 5% of the total number of malign tumours with about 830000 newly diagnosed patients and 430000 deaths per year1. They usually affect people aged 50–70 years and are four times more frequent in men. In Central Serbia, there were 1205 newly registered cases in 2015 (945 men and 260 women). The tumours most commonly affect larynx (48.3%), mouth and oral cavity (32.4%), hypopharynx (7.4%), oropharynx (3.4%) and nasopharynx (3.2%). Despite the modern diagnostic methods, head and neck cancers are diagnosed in stages III and IV in about 65–75% of cases.

To investigate the epidemiological characteristics of the head and neck cancers in Serbia and to point out the adverse effects of smoking in treatment procedures.

Epidemiological situation analysis was performed of the malignant diseases based on the data of incidence and mortality and the impact of smoking on the results of treatment.

The most significant risk factors for head and neck tumours are alcohol and tobacco use, including pipe smoking and chewing tobacco. The current research indicates that most cancer patients find smoking harmful and are motivated to stop smoking after their cancer diagnosis. Lung cancer patients with head and neck localizations quit smoking in 46–96% of cases. Studies show that smoking reduces the effectiveness and the rate of complete response to radiation treatment (the most common treatment for head and neck tumours), and increases the risk of radiation-related complications, toxicity and side effects. Thus, patients are explicitly required to quit smoking in certain circumstances.

It is crucial to implement smoking cessation programs that should be accommodated to oncology patients and implemented at the Institute of Oncology and Radiology of Serbia.

World Health Organization, International Agency for Research on Cancer. Globocan 2018: fact sheets. Accessed July 15, 2020.
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