lung ca question

  1. I am a nurse who smokes. My question is this do nurses and dr's look down on and treat smokers with lung ca differently. I had a biology professor tell me once that he did not believe that smokers with lung ca deserved treatment let alone compassion. What are your views on this. I will not get offended I honestly want to know.
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    Statistics show that nurses and doctors smoke more than other professions do. I had a biology prof (who was an MD, BTW). He was a chain smoker.
  4. by   Gator,SN
    Angelbear,
    Your prof sounds like a jerk. I am sure that in any profession there are people who are judgemental but being a doctor or nurse means treating all people equal and doing the very best for each patient no matter what.
    I would have to point this out to this instructor and then thank God that he is not my doctor. (or anyone else's either)

    Gator
  5. by   renerian
    I have heard your professors feelings by many people both inside and outside of health care. Not uncommon feelings.

    renerian
  6. by   jemb
    To begin with, your prof sounds ignorant.

    That said, smokers have a greater risk for many types of cancer, not just lung. Some healthcare workers have no sympathy period.

    All patients have the right to be treated with equal respect. And recent revelations about cigarette additives, and deliberate effforts for many years by the tobacco industry to conceal the damaging effects of their products, make it somewhat easier to be sympathetic to those who have developed the habit.

    The only ones that I have problems with are those that expect to be "cured" by a few chemo treatments, but arrive at the clinic smelling like chimneys. Others that make me crazy are those who just don't seems to get the concept! (like a friend of mine who quit smoking just long enough to handle the anesthetic for a double mastectomy, after having had a lumpectomy, chemo and radiation several years ago!)

    BTW, I had my last cigarette in 1982, following a 5 year, 3 pack a day habit. So I know the addiction personally, but I also know it is choice.

    Cigarettes were cheap then -- I don't know how the average wage earner can afford to get addicted now.
    Last edit by jemb on Jun 6, '03
  7. by   lgoins
    I do not know of any oncology nurses or docs that treat smokers with lung cancer or any other type of cancer, differently than other patients. It's always best if the patient can stop smoking. It helps decrease the chance for pneumonia & other infections you might get during treatment. I have known many smokers who can't handle the smell of cigarettes during treatment. Within a short while after treatment they are back smoking. I had a stem cell transplant patient that went three months without a cigarette & didn't even crave them. Once he felt better & his sense of smell improved he started smoking again. Go figure.

    "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." I know my health habits aren't the greatest. Since I'm not perfect, I can't expect others to be either.
  8. by   BSN/OncoNurse
    Just remember, once a patient has lung cancer you are treating a patient with a deadly disease which is no different than anyother patient that you have walk thru the door. If you are obese and eat cheeseburgers should you be treated with compassion if you develop cancer? Obesity and red meat are both potentiators to cancer development. What do you think?
  9. by   angelbear
    I think I am a fat smoker so I am probably screwed. Seriously I appreciate all your thoughtful answers.
  10. by   kids
    Originally posted by angelbear
    I think I am a fat smoker so I am probably screwed. Seriously I appreciate all your thoughtful answers.
    Honey, you are not alone.

    I am a fat smoker too...a white bread, red meat, fresh tuna eating fat smoker.

    I'll drive you to chemo if you'll drive me.

    I do want to mention I intend NO disrespect here, I lost my NON-smoking (quit 17 yrs before dx) Mom to NSC lung ca on 2/28/03. I can appreciate anglebear's bit of dark humor and wanted to add to it.
  11. by   angelbear
    Thanks kidsrfun, We'll split the cost of the gas. And thanks for appreciating my humor. Cause seriously I hate the fact that I am fat and that I smoke but apparently not enough to do anything about it yet.
  12. by   Wren
    Angel Bear,

    The sad thing is that some nurses and Docs DO look down on smokers who get sick from CA, emphysema, etc. As a hospice nurse I have seen enough veggie-eating, organic only, holistically oriented people die of cancer (even lung) to know it is a multi-factorial disease.

    There is no question that smoking affects your chances of get cancer (as does working with toxic chemicals, being obese, etc) yet we all know people who have done everything "right" and still get sick. I'm not religious but I think we have to remember the adage to not cast the first stone......

    No :angel2: either
  13. by   susanmary
    No, I haven't seen health care professionals treat lung cancer patients who smoke differently or look down on them. Educate patients -- then it's up to them -- they have FREE WILL. No different than the diabetic who gobbles down boxes of donuts, tons of regular soda, etc. -- teach/document then it's really up to the individual. Whether or not they come back time and time again is really up to them -- it's their lives. Regarding insurance, etc. -- I'm not even going there -- that's another discussion. But, again FREE WILL.
  14. by   night owl
    Originally posted by angelbear
    Thanks kidsrfun, We'll split the cost of the gas. And thanks for appreciating my humor. Cause seriously I hate the fact that I am fat and that I smoke but apparently not enough to do anything about it yet.
    Hey, how about a car pool??? Count me in too!

    Here's my dark humor...

    Take my coffee and cigarettes and you'll die sooner than me!!! That's how addicted I am. Is that sad or what?

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