Smokers at Twice Risk of Prostate Cancer Recurring after Surgery

“Current smokers, and those who have quit smoking less than 10 years previously, have twice the risk of a recurrence of prostate cancer after surgery, according to new research presented at the European Association of Urology conference in Madrid.

“Prostate cancer is the third most common male cancer in Europe, accounting for over 92,000 deaths in 2012 (9% of male deaths). Around 30% of all prostate cancer patients treated with radical prostatectomy experience biochemical recurrence (defined by an increase in PSA, prostate specific antigen) within 10 years after surgery

“An international group of scientists and clinicians from the USA and Europe retrospectively looked at biochemical prostate cancer recurrence – in 7191 men who had had their prostate removed by radical prostatectomy. Of these men, roughly a third were never smokers (2513, or 34.9%), a third were former smokers (2269, or 31.6%) and a third were current smokers (3409, or 33.5%). These patients were followed up for an average of 28 months.

“The results showed that after a median of 28 months, current smokers had around double (HR 2.26) the chance of the cancer recurring than did patients who had never smoked (see abstract below for full results). Even those who had quit smoking within the last 10 years still had a significantly higher risk of cancer recurrence, at about the same level (HR 2.03) as that for current smokers. It wasn’t until 10 years after a patient had quit smoking that the risk of cancer recurrence dropped significantly.”