Smoking Promotes Disease Progression in Prostate Cancer, Study Reports

Smokers diagnosed with prostate cancer who were treated with radiation were at a greater risk of their cancer returning, metastasizing, and ultimately causing death. Former smokers, however, did not have the increased risk.

Smoking doubles the chances that a prostate cancer patient will see his disease spread and that he will eventually die from his illness, a new study finds.

"Basically we found that people who smoke had a higher risk of their tumor coming back, of it spreading and, ultimately, even dying of prostate cancer," said study co-author Dr. Michael Zelefsky. He is vice chair of clinical research in the department of radiation oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

"But interestingly, this applied only to 'current smokers' who were smoking around the time they received external beam therapy," Zelefsky added, referring to the standard form of radiation treatment for prostate cancer. "Former smokers did not have the increased risk for disease spread and recurrence that current smokers did," he said.

Link to the article on MedlinePlus: