Smoking, alcohol consumption may lead to prolonged feeding tube use in head and neck cancer

the ONA take:

A recent study found that current smoking and heavy alcohol consumption appear to be risk factors for prolonged use of a gastrostomy tube (GT) in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) undergoing radiotherapy or chemoradiotherapy.

This study included patients with head and neck SCC undergoing treatment at a teaching hospital in Ireland; 84 patients were undergoing chemoradiation and 20 patients, radiotherapy alone.

The median duration of GT use was 9 months, and GT use at 12 months was 35%. Risk factors for prolonged GT use was current heavy alcohol consumption and current smoking; however, multivariate analyses showed only current smoking to be an independent risk factor.

The researchers hypothesize that several reasons may explain why smoking and drinking might have an effect. Nicotine may suppress appetite and heavy alcohol consumption may lead to poor motivation to resume eating after treatment.

Further studies would be needed to determine if stopping smoking and drinking can shorten duration of GT use.

Study links smoking to breast and prostate cancer
Smoking and alcohol consumption are risk factors for use of a gastrostomy tube in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).
Current smoking and heavy alcohol consumption appear to be risk factors for prolonged use of a gastrostomy tube (GT, feeding tube) in patients with head and neck cancer undergoing radiotherapy or chemoradiotherapy.
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