Senior Researcher at AUA Speaks on World Lung Cancer Day

On August 1, Dr. Arusyak Harutyunyan, Senior Researcher at the Zvart Avedisian Onanian Center for Health Services Research and Development (CHSR) within the Gerald and Patricia Turpanjian School of Public Health (SPH), was invited to speak at the Surgical Management of Lung Cancer: Modern Management international symposium.

The symposium was organized by the Armenian Society of Surgical Oncology, the National Center of Oncology, and the American-Austrian Foundation in collaboration with the Armenian Association of Oncology on World Cancer Day.

Dr. Harutyunyan delivered a presentation entitled Smoking Cessation: An Integral Part of Lung Cancer Treatment that focused on the benefits of tobacco dependence treatment for lung cancer patients. Dr. Harutyunyan highlighted: “Smoking cessation among cancer patients is becoming increasingly important. Smoking cessation after a lung cancer diagnosis is linked to more effective treatment and a better prognosis. In addition, modern treatment methods of cancer increase the number of lung cancer survivors who are more likely to benefit from the quality of life improvements associated with smoking cessation. All these benefits are not generally known to lung cancer patients and their clinicians. So, there is an urgent need to incorporate smoking cessation into cancer treatment plans.”

Lung cancer continues to be one of the most common cancers worldwide, claiming more lives yearly than breast, colon, and prostate cancers combined. It is estimated that lung cancer accounts for nearly one in five cancer deaths globally. Cigarette smoking is the number one risk factor for lung cancer and is responsible for an estimated 90% of all lung cancers. Smokers are 15 to 30 times more likely to get lung cancer or die from lung cancer than people who do not smoke. It is estimated that in 2012 Hungary had the highest rate of lung cancer (76.6 per 100,000 population), followed by Armenia (72.9 per 100,000 population).

Smoking prevalence among the adult Armenian male population is one of the highest in the region. According to the Health Services Performance Assessments survey (2016) 53.4% of 16-69 years old male are smokers. Quitting at any age can significantly lower the risk of developing lung cancer. Smoking cessation also has numerous positive effects on the health of lung cancer patients.

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The AUA School of Public Health works actively to improve population health and health services in Armenia and the region through interdisciplinary education and development of public health professionals to be leaders in public health, health services research and evaluation, and health care delivery and management.

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia and affiliated with the University of California. AUA provides a global education in Armenia and the region, offering high-quality, graduate and undergraduate studies, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting public service and democratic values.