Continuing to Smoke Raises Risks for Patients With Prostate Cancer

Research from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center sheds new light on smoking’s effect on prostate cancer progression and treatment outcomes.

Compared to those who had never smoked, patients who were current smokers had a 40 percent greater risk of cancer relapse. Smokers were also more than two times more likely to have their cancer spread or to die from cancer-related complications.

Both current and former smokers were more likely to experience adverse side effects from their radiotherapy.

Screening for tobacco use among prostate cancer patients, and connecting them to cessation programs could result in better long-term outcomes, and minimize some of the side effects of radiation therapy.

The longitudinal study followed 2,358 patients between the years 1988 and 2005, with a median follow-up of about eight years. It was published online January 27 in BJU International.