Radiation Treatment Of Prostate Cancer – Part 2 of 3
Disease progression, relapse, symptoms and deaths were all tracked for an average of eight years, as were all reactions to the radiation treatment. The researchers distinct that the likelihood of surviving prostate cancer for a decade without experiencing any disease recurrence was about 66 percent among patients who had never smoked. By comparison, that figure fell to 52 percent amongst patients who were current smokers.
Former smokers fared better than current smokers, with about 62 percent projected to hit the 10-year survival mark. But compared with those who had never smoked, both current and former smokers faced a unusually higher risk for the toxic urinary side effects that can occur with radiation treatment. Zelefsky said the new study wasn’t designed to highlight exactly how smoking worsens cancer prognosis. But he notable that one leading hypothesis is that smoking may reduce oxygen concentrations in the tumor region, perhaps making tumors less sensitive to radiation.
“We can’t say for any reality that this is the case. But what we can say, of course, is that smoking is not good for you. Clearly. We’ve long known that it increases the chances for developing lung cancer and cardiovascular disease. But this pronouncement suggests that smoking may also undermine the battle against prostate cancer, and perhaps all cancers in general. So, at minimum this should make us more cognizant of the need to get a good smoking history on prostate cancer patients, and to get more proactive in terms of referring them for smoking cessation programs, rather than putting the issuing on the backburner while undergoing treatment,” he suggested.