(HealthDay News) — For Chinese male cancer patients, postdiagnosis smoking is associated with an increased risk of death, according to a study published in the December issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Li Tao, MD, from the Cancer Prevention Institute of California in Fremont, and colleagues examined the correlation between postdiagnosis smoking and the risk of all-cause death among 1,632 incident cancer patients from 18,244 men participating in the prospective Shanghai Cohort Study. Annual in-person interviews were used to ascertain the change of smoking status after baseline interviews.

The researchers observed a significant 59% (95% CI, 36-86) increased risk of all-cause mortality for patients who continued smoking after cancer diagnosis, compared with those who did not smoke after diagnosis.

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On analysis of current smokers at cancer diagnosis, compared with those who stopped smoking after diagnosis, patients who continued smoking had a hazard ratio of 1.79 (95% CI, 1.49-2.16) for all cancers, 2.36 (95% CI, 1.63-3.42) for lung cancer, 1.63 (95% CI, 0.98-2.73) for stomach cancer, 2.31 (95% CI, 1.40-3.81) for colorectal cancer and 2.95 (95% CI, 1.09-7.95) for bladder cancer.

“These data provide new information about smoking and cancer survival, which should inform future research into the contextual and individual-level factors that may result in inadequate attention of smoking among patients with cancer in the post-diagnosis setting,” the authors write. “Our study provides strong support to a smoking cessation intervention program that targets cancer survivors.”


  1. Tao L, Wang R, Gao YT. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev;2013;22:2404–11.