Fewer than half of new cancer patients in this area are asked if they smoke with the view of helping them quit
Area doctors are failing to ask new cancer patients about smoking with the goal of helping them quit.
Fewer than half of new cancer patients are screened for tobacco use in the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant Local Health Integration Network, which includes Burlington.
The dismal rates are far short of Ontario's target of 70 per cent and among the lowest rates in the province reveals the Cancer Quality Council of Ontario.
"It's trying to pause and take the 30 seconds it takes to mention it," said Dr. Christian Finley, a thoracic surgeon based at St. Joseph's Healthcare. "It's ironic but it's almost hard when you're a cancer doctor to remember prevention. Your immediate concern is what is going on and trying to diagnose and help someone ... It's a reminder to take that moment."
Those seconds its takes to ask a cancer patient about smoking could be pivotal to recovery, emphasizes the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer.
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