Sisters Hospital Supports Stomping Out Smoking

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November 16, 2009

These days, it is becoming more and more inconvenient to be a smoker. Sisters Hospital’s Main Street campus is already smoke-free, with the St. Joseph Campus well on its way to joining a growing number of hospitals and businesses that are prohibiting smoking on their property.

For all the smokers who have been waiting for a reason to quit, they need not wait any longer. Along with Lung Cancer Awareness Month, Sisters Hospital will take part in the American Cancer Society’s “Great American Smokeout” on November 19 by encouraging its patients, associates and staff to “kick the habit” for good.

This annual event challenges current smokers to quit smoking for the entire day, with the hopes they will find inspiration to quit permanently. Non-smokers are encouraged to inform smokers of the many resources available to assist in quitting, ranging from prescription medications to lessen cravings, to support from family and friends.

Apart from it becoming less attractive in the public eye, smoking can lead to serious health issues. Lung Cancer, often caused by smoking, is responsible for approximately one in three cancer deaths. While the best medicine is always to quit smoking, new advances in minimally invasive lung surgery, available at Sisters Hospital, are giving many lung cancer patients a new lease on life.

The procedure consists of substantially smaller incisions than traditional “open” surgery, allowing the cancerous lung to be removed without cracking the ribcage. According or Mark Jajkowski, MD, a cardio-thoracic surgeon at Sisters Hospital, who has been performing this surgery for over two years, the minimally invasive procedure is as effective as open surgery with fewer complications, less scaring and less pain. Virtually all Dr. Jajkowski’s patients have been smokers at some point.