Are people with psychiatric or drug use disorders at higher risk for tobacco-related cancers?

Date posted: 
Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Individuals with psychiatric disorders and those with drug-use disorders have a high prevalence of tobacco use. However, treatment for nicotine dependence in these groups is lacking, and little is known about the tobacco-related cancer trajectories in these groups.

Data access has been approved for a study, funded by a BC Cancer Agency Centre for the North – Radiation Therapy Catalyst Grant, to identify individuals with psychiatric disorders or drug-use disorders and estimate the hazards of developing a tobacco-related cancer.

“Currently, smoking-cessation treatments are poorly integrated into psychiatric or addiction care, and the full burden of tobacco-related diseases is not well described,” says Dr Robert Olson, Associate Professor in Radiation Oncology at the BC Cancer Agency. “It is likely that the psychiatric/drug-use disorder populations will have a pronounced increased risk of tobacco-related cancers and the results of this study may provide evidence for incorporating smoking-cessation treatment into psychiatric and addiction programs.”

Given that smoking rates tend to be higher in rural areas, the results of this study may be of particular significance to psychiatric and drug-use disorder populations in northern and rural British Columbia.

PopData will link BC Ministry of Health, BC Vital Statistics Agency and PharmaNet data with BC Cancer Agency data for the project.

Page last revised: April 13, 2016