Study Shows “Clear Link” Between Smoking and Prostate Cancer

Wednesday 24th June 2015

A new study has warned of a ‘clear link’ between smoking and the risk of death from prostate cancer.

Men who carry on smoking after diagnosis have a lower survival rate following cancer treatment and people who quit still have decreased odds for a decade after giving up cigarettes.

Although smoking well known as a huge risk for numerous types of cancer, in the case to its link to prostate cancer older studies have produced contradictory results.

For what is believed to be the first time, an overseas study has now said to have uncovered a comprehensible link.

The study is published in the European Urology journal and was conducted by MedUni Vienna and Basle University Hospital, Switzerland. It discovered that of all cancer patients who had a prostatectomy, smokers and ex-smokers had twice the risk of the disease returning.

Professor Shahrokh Shariat from MedUni Vienna’s University Clinic of Urology said the results of the study underline how important it is to inform prostate cancer patients about the dangers of smoking.

For ex-smokers, the negative effects of smoking and higher risk of the disease recurring is offset within a decade of quitting.

That said, Professor Shariat insists that those who quit following diagnosis will see significant health benefits. He said it is never too late to give up smoking and that quitting makes sense even to those already suffering from the disease.

Conclusions of the study were drawn following an assessment of information from six international cancer research centres.

The study involved 7,191 patients who’d had their prostates removed during a radical prostatectomy between 2000 and 2011.

None of the patients received chemotherapy, hormonal therapy or preoperative radiotherapy and those whose cancer had spread were not included in the study.

Up until this point, the link between smoking and prostate cancer development has been uncertain. The scientists say that in scientific terms it is still unclear whether smoking is associated with prostate cancer development or the extent to which it might be.

Previous studies suggest a clear relationship but more recent studies contradict these findings.

What has been proven in this latest study, however, is that smoking does increase the risk of death from prostate cancer.

Professor Shariat concluded that there are still many unanswered questions about smoking and prostate cancer and additional studies are needed to produce concrete answers.

This latest research supports an old study conducted by the University of California, San Francisco and the Harvard School of Public Health. The study found that smokers with prostate cancer have an enhanced risk of recurrence and dying from the illness.