Researchers found that prostate cancer patients who are smokers can experience side effects from the treatment and also have an increased risk of developing future cancer recurrences. They also have an increased risk of dying from the cancer.
The new study shows that smoking has negative effects on prostate cancer patients and can contribute to further complication related to the disease.
Previous studies have shown the links between smoking cigarettes and prostate cancer, but the new study helps scientists to better understand how smoking can influence the progression of prostate cancer. The researchers want to see if smoking can also influence the cancer treatment.
A team of scientists from the Memorial Kettering Cancer Center in New York City has conducted the study involving 2,358 prostate cancer patients who underwent external beam radiotherapy between 1988 and 2005.
2,156 patients of 2,358 had a history of smoking. The researchers classified the patients as never smokers, current smokers, former smokers and current smoking status unknown.
The study revealed that the patients who were classified as current smokers have an increased risk of cancer relapse of up to 40%. Also, current smokers had an increased risk of cancer spread and of dying from the disease. The results were compared with those of patients who never smoked.
The study also showed that the patients classified as former and current smokers were more likely to experience side effects from the cancer treatment. The side effects included urinary toxicity, urinary incontinence, urinary retention and bladder hemorrhage. All these side effects were related to radiotherapy.
Michael Zelefsky, one of the researchers involved in the study, said:
“Less optimal tumor control outcomes among smokers could possibly be explained by the influence of less oxygen concentration within the treated tumors among smokers, which is known to lead to less sensitivity of the cells being killed off by radiation treatments.”
Zelefsky added that the new study reveals how important it is for physicians to counsel their patients on the potential dangers of smoking and how it can interfere with the efficacy of cancer treatments.
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