SALT LAKE CITY, Oct 20, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- A study released Monday warns that smokers with breast cancer are more than twice as likely to die than non-smokers or those who quit.
The study -- presented in Salt Lake City Monday during the annual meeting of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology -- is the first to examine the effect of smoking on long-term outcomes of breast cancer patients treated with conservative surgery and radiation.
It found that women who continue to smoke during therapy are 2.5 times more likely to die from cancer than are women with no smoking history. But if women stop smoking before treatment, their risk of dying is the same as women who never smoked.
Lead author Khanh Nguyen of the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia said: "While smoking is a putative risk factor for developing breast cancer, its impact on treatment results has been uncertain. Our findings suggest that women undergoing breast cancer therapy should consider smoking cessation to improve their chance of survival."
Copyright 2003 by United Press International.