The Good Samaritan Cancer Center offers tobacco cessation programming at no charge. It is designed to assist cancer survivors and families develop the tools to succeed in becoming tobacco-free.
Who Can Participate
Recently diagnosed cancer patients who are considering quitting, trying to quit or recently quit using tobacco are encouraged to access our services. In addition, family members trying to become tobacco-free are also welcome to get involved in the process.
Where Services are Available
Good Samaritan Cancer Center has a tobacco cessation educator on staff who can meet with patients on site, in coordination with individual treatment schedules or other convenient times.
For patients who live long distance, the Nebraska Telehealth Network is available through local hospitals across the state and provides a link to our service provider through a videoconference. Cancer Center staff provides assistance in scheduling appointments and managing the technology for participants.
An initial consultation appointment can be scheduled to talk directly with the tobacco cessation educator about readiness to quit, developing a plan to quit and providing support once tobacco-free. Follow up sessions are scheduled with patients by appointment.
What to Expect
Quitting may not be easy, but research shows that support from others is key to improving your odds of success. The tobacco cessation educator is here to provide support whether individuals are considering quitting, making an attempt to quit now or have recently stopped using tobacco.
Patients will have an opportunity to:
- Participate in developing a quit plan and quit date,
- Obtain information about quit aides that are commonly available,
- Develop coping skills and problem solving skills to deal with cravings and
- Receive non-judgmental support in the process to quit tobacco.
Benefits of Quitting After Diagnosis
It is never too late to quit using tobacco. In fact, many patients who have smoked or used tobacco for long periods find quitting helpful during treatment and beyond.
Smoking impacts the body's immune system and its ability to heal. Patients who quit smoking may improve the healing of surgical wounds and lower the risk of infection after surgery. Quitting reduces symptoms related to chemotherapy toxicity such as infection and heart, stomach or breathing problems. Side effects from radiation treatment, particularly of the head and neck, are likely to be delayed or lessened when patients have quit tobacco prior to or during treatment.
There is always a continued health risk with continued tobacco use, but it's never too late to quit. Your treatment comfort, healing and long-term health will benefit the sooner you are able to quit tobacco.
Kim Burr MS, LPC, LIMHP
cancer survivor counselor and tobacco cessation educator
Click here to email Kim
Kim is a trained facilitator of the American Cancer Society's Freshstart tobacco cessation program and a Nebraska Licensed Professional Counselor.