NEW YORK, June 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- According to a recent study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), men with prostate cancer who smoke have increased prostate cancer-specific mortality compared to non-smokers with prostate cancer. Smokers were also found to have a 61% increased risk of cancer recurrence after treatment. Interestingly, these increased mortality and recurrence rates were not seen in men who had quit smoking for at least 10 years. These men had similar risk profiles to those who never smoked.
In addition to what it tells us about the effects of smoking, this study also presents an important element of prevention into the general discussion of prostate cancer. While the major risk factors for the disease; age, race and family history, are well known, these factors are non-modifiable. Most doctors, therefore, recommend annual PSA screening in order to diagnose cancer as early as possible, especially for those who have high risk profiles. Unlike age, race and family history, however, smoking is a modifiable risk. According to this recent study, patients with prostate cancer who quit smoking for ten years will bring themselves back down to the risk category of those who never smoked at all.
Coincidentally, the FDA announced this week that new health warnings must be displayed on all cigarette packages and advertisements in the United States beginning no later than September 2012. The new, larger warning labels show pictures of the effects smoking has on a person's health in graphic detail. With the ever-increas