NEW YORK,June 30, 2011
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-increasing medical evidence showing the harmful effects of smoking, there has never been a better time to quit.
For Dr. David Samadi, Vice Chairman, Department of Urology, Chief of Robotics and Minimally Invasive Surgery at The Mount Sinai Medical Center, the new information about smoking and prostate cancer makes all the difference. “Prostate cancer is a deadly disease, but it is not a death sentence. Men need to use all of the resources available to keep their risk as low as possible.” He explained further, “Quitting smoking, as this study has shown, reduces your risk of dying from prostate cancer and of recurring once you’ve had treatment. And even if you’ve never smoked, you still need to get PSA testing annually over the age of 50 to stay in control of your health. If you have a family history of the disease, or of African American ancestry, you need to consider getting earlier PSA testing at 40.”
For those who are, unfortunately, diagnosed with prostate cancer, Dr. Samadi performs advanced, minimally-invasive robotic prostate surgery. Using his own SMART (Samadi Modified Advanced Robotic Technique) surgery, Dr. Samadi gives his patients excellent sexual and urinary quality of life after the prostate cancer treatment procedure with minimal risk of cancer recurrence. “The key is to lower your risk before diagnosis, and get PSA tested to ensure an early diagnosis. If you need to be treated, however, you’ll want to choose a procedure that will eliminate the cancer while at the same time preserve your quality of life for years to come.”
Dr. Samadi discusses men’s health, prostate cancer prevention and prostate cancer risks associated with smoking on Fox News: