Smoking and Prostate Cancer

Many people don’t realize the serious effects smoking has on recovering from prostate cancer. Studies have found that this dangerous habit can worsen prostate cancer that already exists and increase the individual’s chances of dying from their prostate cancer. Even worse, it’s thought that cigarettes can hinder how men fight off everyday harm to their DNA, which actually increases the risk of developing cancer in the first place.

The frequency that a man smokes plays a big factor in his chances of getting a more aggressive cancer that spreads beyond his prostate. In fact, with every cigarette he smokes, his risk increases slightly.

More specifically, there are six clear ways smoking interacts with prostate cancer:

  1. It’s believed that the prostate cancer cells are affected directly by cigarette smoking, which leads to aggressive tumor behavior.
  2. Men who still smoke after they receive a prostate cancer diagnosis are at a higher risk of not surviving treatment. Even if they quit, they still have reduced odds for ten years after quitting.
  3. It is well known that smoking increases your risk of developing different types of cancer.
  4. Smokers are usually less healthy than those who do not smoke. Since they often receive fewer screenings for prostate cancer, they are at a higher risk of being given an advanced-stage cancer diagnosis.
  5. Tobacco smoke has carcinogens like benzopyrene, which can speed up the growth of a tumor. When a man starts to develop prostate cancer, he begins to lose his glutathione-S -transferase p (GS T-p), an enzyme that cleans toxins in cells, which leaves him more susceptible to oxidative damage. When this happens, he’s more vulnerable to the benzopyrene carcinogens that cigarettes produce which puts him at further risk of developing cancer.
  6. In the ten years before received prostate cancer treatment, men increase their risk of cancer spreading beyond their prostate the more they smoke. Men who smoked the most (2 packs daily for 20 years, 1 pack daily for 40 years, etc.) increased their risk of high-grade cancer more than three times as much as those who smoked less or are former smokers.

The good news, however, is that smokers who kick the habit before being diagnosed with prostate cancer can actually slow down the disease’s development or have a more curable form of it.

If you’d like to talk with an expert about how smoking may be affecting your prostate cancer treatment, make an appointment with me today: