Smoking increases risks for side effects and recurrence in patients being treated for prostate cancer, according to a study published in BJU International.
Michael Zelefsky, MD, and colleagues at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City examined 2,358 patients with prostate cancer who underwent external-beam radiotherapy (EBRT) between 1988 and 2005. They classified patients as never smokers, current smokers, former smokers, or current smoking unknown.
They found that with a median follow-up of about 8 years, current smokers were at a 40 percent increased risk of prostate cancer relapse, along with a two-times increased risk of cancer spread and cancer-related death, compared to never smokers.
Additionally, current and former smokers had a higher likelihood of experiencing side effects such as urinary toxicity that are related to radiotherapy.
“Our findings point to the importance of physicians counseling their patients regarding the potential harms of smoking interfering with the efficacy of therapies ad for increased risks of side effects,” Dr. Zelefsky noted.
Among patients with prostate cancer, those who smoke have increased risks of experiencing side effects from treatment and of developing future cancer recurrences, or even dying from prostate cancer. The findings, which are published in BJU International, suggest that smoking may negatively affect the health outcomes of patients with prostate cancer and may contribute to complications related to their care.