Men who smoke increase risk of prostate cancer recurrence, death

A study has suggested that men with prostate cancer who smoke increase their risk of prostate cancer recurrence and of dying from the disease.

Researchers from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and University of California, San Francisco, found a link between smoking at the time of prostate cancer diagnosis and aggressive prostate cancer, overall mortality (death) and cardiovascular disease mortality.

“In our study, we found similar results for both prostate cancer recurrence and prostate cancer mortality,” Stacey Kenfield, lead author of the study and a research associate in the HSPH Department of Epidemiology, said.

“These data taken together provide further support that smoking may increase risk of prostate cancer progression,” she said.

Kenfield and her colleagues conducted a prospective observational study of 5,366 men diagnosed with prostate cancer between 1986 and 2006 in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study.

The researchers documented 1,630 deaths, 524 (32 percent) due to prostate cancer, 416 (26 percent) due to cardiovascular disease, and 878 prostate cancer recurrences.

The researchers found that men with prostate cancer who were current smokers had a 61 percent increased risk of dying from prostate cancer, and a 61 percent higher risk of recurrence compared with men who never smoked.

“These data are exciting because there are few known ways for a man to reduce his risk of dying from prostate cancer,” senior author Edward Giovannucci, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at HSPH, said.

“For smokers, quitting can impact their risk of dying from prostate cancer. This is another reason to not smoke,” he stated.

The study was published in the June 22-29, 2011, Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

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