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Smokers at Higher Risk of Recurrence of Prostate Cancer Even After Surgery

by Vishnuprasad on March 21, 2015 at 2:09 PM
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Smokers at Higher Risk of Recurrence of Prostate Cancer Even After Surgery

Current smokers, and those who have quit smoking within last 10 years, have twice the risk of developing prostate cancer again after surgery, according to new research presented at the European Association of Urology conference in Madrid.

The 15th European Association of Urology conference takes place in Madrid from 20-24th March.


Prostate cancer is the third most common cancer among men in Europe, accounting for over 92,000 deaths in 2012 (9% of total deaths). Around 30% of all prostate cancer patients treated with radical prostatectomy, a surgical removal of the prostate, experience biochemical recurrence defined by an increase in prostate-specific antigen (PSA) within 10 years after surgery.

An international group of scientists and clinicians from the USA and Europe retrospectively looked at biochemical prostate cancer recurrence in 7,191 men who had had their prostate removed by surgery. Of these men, roughly a third were never smokers (2,513, or 34.9%), a third were former smokers (2,269, or 31.6%) and a third were current smokers (3,409, or 33.5%). These patients were followed up for an average of 28 months.

The results showed that after a median of 28 months, current smokers had around double the chance of the cancer recurring than did patients who had never smoked. Even those who had quit smoking in less than 10 years still had a significantly higher risk of cancer recurrence, at about the same level as that for current smokers. It wasn't until 10 years after a patient had quit smoking that the risk of cancer recurrence dropped significantly.

"This is a new analysis, but it seems to confirm results we have seen in many other types of cancer: basically, smoking increases the risk of cancer recurrence after initial treatment. Prostate cancer mortality varies widely throughout Europe. The fact that cancer recurrence can vary so dramatically due to smoking is probably one of the factors which may contribute to differences in prostate cancer mortality. It's just another reason not to smoke at all, but the fact that the risk drops after 10 years means that anyone who has prostate cancer, would be well advised to quit immediately," said Dr. Malte Rieken, University Hospital, Switzerland.

Per-Anders Abrahamsson, former European Association of Urology Secretary-General, said, "Prostate cancer is a leading cause of cancer death for men in the western world. A number of studies have addressed how diet and environmental factors affect the risk of prostate cancer. This is the first report that clarifies that smoking increases the risk of prostate cancer recurring after surgery and, therefore, a major step forward to advise our patients to stop smoking when diagnosed with prostate cancer."

Source: Medindia

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