Smoking can make prostate cancer treatment more risky

27 January 2015

Smokers undergoing treatment for prostate cancer are at increased risk of side effects and a recurrence of the disease, according to a new study from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

A total of 2,358 patients who had external beam radiotherapy for the disease between 1988 and 2005 took part in the study, and were followed up after eight years. They were classified as either current smokers, ex-smokers, never smoked and unknowns.

The researchers found that participants who smoked throughout had a 40 per cent higher chance of experiencing cancer relapses as those who had never smoked. They were also twice as likely to experience cancer spread and cancer-related death compared to the never-smoked group.

Current and former smokers were also found to be at increased risk of side effects, including urinary retention, urinary incontinence, and bladder haemorrhage.
Lead researcher Michael Zelefsky said: “Less optimal tumour control outcomes among smokers could possibly be explained by the influence of less oxygen concentration within the treated tumours among smokers, which is known to lead to less sensitivity of the cells being killed off by radiation treatments."

Posted by ​Phillip Briggs 


Health News is provided by Adfero in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy above is ©Adfero Ltd. and does not reflect views or opinions of Spire Healthcare unless explicitly stated. Additional comments on the page from individual Spire consultants do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other consultants or Spire Healthcare.

Find a treatment, test or scan available at:


Find a consultant

Use one or more of the options below to search for a consultant and link through to view their Spire profile.


Let us help you

fill out this form and we will get back to you:

Please select a hospital

We can call you

Please enter your details below and we will call you back.

What is the aim of your enquiry?

Please select a hospital

If we are unable to reach you by phone, please include your email address so that we can get in touch...



© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)