Clear evidence links smoking to prostate cancer: Results of study indicate that biochemical recurrence of prostate cancer as a result of smoking will have been onset within 10 years of quitting.

Smoking Cause Cancer

Smoking is a well-known and significant risk factor for many different types of cancer. However, no substantial evidence was available from previous studies to establish a link between smoking and prostate cancer.

An international study led by MedUni Vienna and Basle University Hospital have managed to prove that after the removal of a cancerous prostate gland, smokers and ex-smokers have twice as much a risk that the prostate cancer will reoccur (biochemical recurrence, BCR).

The study was published in European Urology, the world’s leading journal in urology and nephrology, and provides clear information that patients of prostate cancer should quit smoking.  

International Meta-Study

The study gathered data from six international cancer research centers, consisting of records of a total of 7,191 patients who had had their prostate glands removed via radical prostatectomy, RP. The records collected were between the years 2000-2011. None of the patients were given any post-op radiotherapy, chemotherapy or hormonal therapy. Furthermore, patients who had been diagnosed with metastasis were excluded from the study. Using different statistical procedures, data was analyzed and the results were interpreted.

Key Findings

“Our findings underline the importance of informing a prostate cancer patient about the negative effects of smoking,” highlighted Shahrokh F. Shariat, Principal of the University Clinic of Urology at MedUni Vienna, who conducted the break-through study along with Malte Rieken from the University Clinic of Urology at Basle University Hospital.

Moreover, the results of the study indicate that biochemical recurrence of prostate cancer as a result of smoking will have been onset within 10 years of quitting. The researcher recommends that all patients must be aware of these statistics, and even if they are already suffering from prostate cancer, they should focus on quitting for a better future prognosis.

Future Prospects

Despite having established a link, researchers are still not totally certain whether smoking is correlated to prostate cancer, and more so to what extent. Previous studies have remained contradictory.

“Many questions about prostate cancer and smoking are still unanswered. Further studies are therefore required to produce satisfactory answers,” states Shariat.

However, the present study does provide evidence that smoking significantly increases the chances of dying from prostate cancer, or of having a biochemical reoccurrence. These findings could help convince patients to quit smoking in their early days, or to give up smoking after they have been diagnosed or operated.