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Health Team

Smoking may contribute to higher prostate cancer death rates

Posted June 21, 2011

Smokers may be more likely to die from prostate cancer, according to a recent review by the U.S. surgeon general.

Researchers looked at the benefits for those men who kicked the habit.

Former smoker Tyson Heilhecker said it was “quite difficult” for him to kick the habit, which he started at age 13. Smoking was common in his family, including his father who died of colorectal cancer.

Heilhecker had his last cigarette four years ago.

"I was considering going out in the pouring rain walking down the street to just get a pack of cigarettes, and something at that point, after trying a few other times, just kind of snapped,” he said.

For many, stopping smoking is still a daily struggle. However, many people, including men, keep smoking despite the health risks.

"Prostate cancer is now another disease that is associated with smoking,” said Stacey Kenfield, with the Harvard School of Public Health.

Researchers studied data of more than 5,300 men who were diagnosed with prostate cancer. They looked at smoking information provided prior to their diagnosis and followed the men for more than 20 years.

"Current smokers had a 61 percent increased risk of prostate cancer recurrence and a 61 percent increased risk of prostate-specific cancer mortality,” Kenfield said.

The study appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

"Men who quit smoking at least 10 years prior to their prostate cancer diagnosis had risks of recurrence and mortality that were very similar to men who had never smoked,” Kenfield said.

There was also a higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease and overall death in men who were still smoking at the time of their diagnosis.

"Men should quit smoking to reduce the risk of prostate cancer recurrence and improve prostate-cancer specific survival,” Kenfield said.

Researchers say that current smoking was also associated with a more aggressive prostate cancer at diagnosis.

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  • fayncmike Jun 28, 2011

    "fayncmike - so what's your point?"

    With all due respect if you don't get the point I'd venture to say you're the only one here who doesn't.

  • Inter Alios Jun 27, 2011

    fayncmike - so what's your point?

  • fayncmike Jun 27, 2011

    "I'm so tired of these so called researchers blame everything on tobacco, give me a break !!!!!!!!!! who are these people ?? why don't they "research" cures for deceases, who pays your saleries for what ??? if smoking is all that bad why in the world is it legal ?? why don't you start researching alcohol ??"

    When you cut open the corpse of a smoker who's died of lung cancer and the lungs are black with tobacco residues and smell like a dirty ashtray it doesn't take a rocket scientist to make the obvious connection.

  • fayncmike Jun 27, 2011

    "We have way too many people on this earth. We need more people to smoke, drink, sky dive and and engage in other risky behaviors so we can have lots of accidents and help thin out the population. Don't worry...be happy. The anti-smoking zealots will distort reality, as well as outright lie to accomplish their mission of dictating to others what they can and can not do with their bodies. Who in their right mind wants to live to 90 or 100?"

    As a sky diver allow me to tell you that sky diving, done properly, isn't nearly as risky as some think it is. Most sky diving accidents occur to those who choose to push the envelope beyond reason. But isn't that true in all activities?

  • k2tal38 Jun 24, 2011

    You're kidding , sucking in poisinous smoke that hits every cell of your body thru oxygen causes prostate cancer and many other cancers....who would have thought.......oh and dying of cancer is awful...seen it too many times. I would rather die of old age!!!

  • Inter Alios Jun 23, 2011

    We have way too many people on this earth. We need more people to smoke, drink, sky dive and and engage in other risky behaviors so we can have lots of accidents and help thin out the population. Don't worry...be happy. The anti-smoking zealots will distort reality, as well as outright lie to accomplish their mission of dictating to others what they can and can not do with their bodies. Who in their right mind wants to live to 90 or 100?

  • cathyem44 Jun 23, 2011

    I'm so tired of these so called researchers blame everything on tobacco, give me a break !!!!!!!!!! who are these people ?? why don't they "research" cures for deceases, who pays your saleries for what ??? if smoking is all that bad why in the world is it legal ?? why don't you start researching alcohol ??