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Quitting Smoking Can Help the Success of Your Lung Cancer Surgery

Dr. Joseph Friedberg University of Maryland School of Medicine

In addition to being the main cause of lung cancer, smoking can complicate lung cancer surgery. Tiny, hair-like cells called cilia line our windpipes, and their main job is to sweep mucus out of the lungs. Smoking paralyzes these cells, and the inability to clear this mucus effectively is why smokers often develop that telltale hacking cough. During lung cancer surgery, these secretions can get caught in your lung and increase your risk for developing pneumonia, a potentially fatal complication.

“Just stopping smoking even for a couple weeks before surgery will increase your safety,”  says Dr. Joseph Friedberg, Head of the Division of Thoracic Surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

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Dr. Joseph Friedberg serves as a medical advisor to SurvivorNet. He is the Charles Reid Edwards Professor of Surgery and head of the Division of Thoracic Surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Read More