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Smoking and Prostate Cancer

Smoking and Prostate Cancer Image

Smoking and Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed solid tumor and is the second leading cause of cancer related mortality in American men. According to statistics available, one in every six men in the US will develop prostate cancer during his lifetime. Estimates by the American Cancer Society say that nearly 32,000 men died due to this cancer in 2010 alone.

Some of the important risk factors associated with prostate cancer include advanced age, history of prostate cancer in first degree relatives, and African-American descent. However, new studies have shown that environmental factors also play an important role in the development of prostate cancer. Cigarette smoking is one modifiable risk factor that has stood out in all prostate cancer related studies.


Influence of Smoking on Prostate Cancer

According to studies, people who smoke cigarettes are more likely to develop an aggressive form of prostate cancer as compared to non-smokers. Men who smoked more cigarettes in 10 years before undergoing radical prostatectomy have an increased risk of developing high grade cancer or cancer which spreads beyond the prostate gland more quickly. Men who have smoked more than 40 pack-years are three times more likely to develop more aggressive form of prostate cancer. The risk is more for current smokers as compared to people who have quit smoking.

However, in men who have quit smoking before the prostate cancer is diagnosed, the cancer is slow-growing and more amenable to treatment.


Reasons Behind Aggressive Form of Prostate Cancer in Smokers

Different scientists have postulated different theories for the development of more aggressive form of prostate cancer in smokers. Some of these are:



The role of cigarette smoking in the development of more aggressive form of prostate cancer is more or less established. However, it is a modifiable risk factor. Men should be encouraged to quit smoking before it is too late.

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