Patients who need prostate cancer surgery and are smokers or quit smoking less than 10 years prior to surgery are twice as likely to suffer from prostate cancer recurrence. The finding came from a group of international scientists and physicians and the conclusions were presented during the European Association of Urology conference in Madrid.
Researchers conducted a retrospective analysis to assess the biochemical recurrence of the disease, with patients followed for an average of 28 months. Prostate cancer is typically treated with radical prostatectomy and in about 30% of the cases patients experience biochemical recurrence within ten years after the procedure, defined as increased levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA). “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,” explained the lead investigator in the study Malte Rieken from University Hospital in Basel, Switzerland.
“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,” he added.
The results demonstrated that patients who smoke have twice the probability of having cancer recurrence, compared to patients who never smoked. And quitting may not be completely safe, since scientists reported a significantly high risk in patients who gave up smoking less than 10 years before being submitted to surgery.
“Prostate cancer is a leading cause of cancer death for man in the western world,” stated the former EAU Secretary-General, in Malmo, Sweden, Per-Anders Abrahamsson. “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.”
Another research project published in BJU International has found that prostate cancer patients who smoke have an increased risk of suffering from treatment side effects, developing future cancer recurrences or ultimately dying from this malignancy. The study demonstrated that smoking has a negative impact on health outcomes of patients diagnosed with prostate cancer and has a major role in treatment-related complications.