The effects of alcoholism and smoking on advanced cancer patients admitted to an acute supportive/palliative care unit

Alessandra Casuccio, Claudio Adile, Sebastiano Mercadante, Alessandra Casuccio, Patrizia Ferrera

Risultato della ricerca: Articlepeer review

5 Citazioni (Scopus)


Aim: The aim of this prospective study was to determine the characteristics and symptom burden of advanced cancer patients with alcoholism problems and smoking, who were referred to an acute palliative/supportive care unit (ASPCU) of a comprehensive cancer center. Methods: Patientsâ characteristics, indications for admission, kind of admission, awareness of prognosis, and anticancer treatments were recorded. The Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale (ESAS) was used to assess physical and psychological symptoms, and the CAGE questionnaire for the diagnosis of alcoholism. Patients were also divided in three groups: persistent smokers (PS), former smokers (FS), and non-smokers (NS). The Memorial Delirium Assessment Scale (MDAS) was used to assess the cognitive status of patients. Analgesic drugs and their doses at admission and discharge were recorded, as well opioid escalation index during hospital stay. Results: Three hundred fourteen consecutive cancer patients were surveyed. Forty-seven (14.9%), 143 (45.5%), and 124 (39.5%) subjects were PS-patients, FS-patients, and NS-patients, respectively. Sixteen patients were CAGE-positive. Females were more frequently NS, while males were more frequently FS (p = 0.0005). Statistical differences were also observed in disease awareness among the categories of smoking (p = 0.048). No statistical differences were found in ESAS items, except for drowsiness at T0 in NS-patients. Differences were found in OME and OEI, although the large variability of data did not determined a statistical difference. Higher values of nausea (at T0, p = 0.0005), dyspnea (at T0 and TX, p = 0.08 and 0.023, respectively), and well-being (at TX p = 0.003) were reported in CAGE-positive patients. No correlation was found between CAGE-positive patients and smokers. Conclusion: Although smoking and alcoholism have obvious implications in advanced cancer patients, data remain controversial, as present data did provide limited data to confirm risk factors for advanced cancer patients. Clinical response was not strongly influenced by these risk factors.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)2147-2153
Numero di pagine7
RivistaSupportive Care in Cancer
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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