Smoking â€œlinked to prostate cancerâ€
Previous research results regarding the link between smoking and prostate cancer have been mixed, say the researchers from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre and the University of Washington.
However, the new study â€“ in conjunction with recent findings from John Hopkins University and Harvard University â€“ point to smoking being an important risk factor for prostate cancer, they say.
The researchers studied more than 1,450 men between the ages of 40 and 64. Half had a history of prostate cancer, while the rest acted as a comparison group. All the participants were interviewed about a variety of factors, including their smoking habits, diet, alcohol consumption and occupational history.
After analysing the results, researchers found significant evidence to suggest a link between smoking and prostate cancer.
They found that men under the age of 65 who had smoked around a packet of cigarettes each day for 40 years, or two packets a day for 20 years, had a 60 per cent increased risk of developing prostate cancer, compared with non-smoking men.
Furthermore, such men were twice as likely as their non-smoking peers to develop more aggressive forms of prostate cancer.
Writing in the July edition of the journal Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, lead author of the study, Dr Janet Stanford, said, â€œThis study provides additional evidence that supports a role for smoking as a risk factor for prostate cancer and confirms recent findings that suggest smoking is an even stronger risk factor for more life-threatening forms of prostate cancer.â€
She added, â€œFrom a public-health perspective, I think we now have enough evidence to suggest that prostate cancer should be added to the long list of malignancies in which smoking plays a role.â€
Other cancers linked to smoking include those of the lung, bladder, cervix, oesophagus and kidney.