According to Miami urologist Dr. George Suarez, a new study shows that smoking doubles the chances that a prostate cancer patient’s disease will spread, eventually ending in death from the illness.
Researchers found that people who smoke experienced a higher risk of their tumor coming back or spreading and, ultimately, a higher death rate. But of interest is the fact that this finding applied only to current smokers who were smoking during the time they were receiving radiation treatment for prostate cancer. Former smokers did not experience the increased risk for disease spread and recurrence that current smokers did.
However, the study also examined how smoking affected side effects from the radiation treatment, which can include rectal bleeding and/or frequent and urgent urination. And according to you Miami urologist, both patients who smoked and former smokers seemed to have a higher risk of urinary-related side effects following treatment.
The researchers determined that the likelihood of surviving prostate cancer for a period of ten years without experiencing any disease recurrence was over 60 percent among patients who had never smoked. That figure fell to approximately 50 percent among patients who were current smokers.
But compared with those who had never smoked, both current and former smokers faced a markedly higher risk for the poisonous urinary side effects that can occur with radiation treatment.
It’s been known for a long time that smoking increases the chances for developing lung cancer and cardiovascular disease. But this most recent study suggests that smoking may also undercut the battle against prostate cancer, and perhaps all cancers in general.
So, at a minimum your Miami urologist says that this report should make us more aware of the need to get a reliable smoking history on prostate cancer patients, and to get more proactive in terms of suggesting that they enter a smoking cessation program, rather than putting the issue on the backburner during their treatment.
Quitting smoking is better than not quitting, but not starting in the first place is the best thing. Miami urologist Dr. George Suarez advises that if you’re a smoker and you develop prostate cancer, you should consider that it really is time to quit.