Smoking and developing prostate cancer have long been linked to one another but the exact relationship between the two is not clearly identified. Now, experts found a 'clear link' between tobacco use and prostate cancer through a new study.

The study performed by the MedUni Vienna and Basle University Hospital in Switzerland involved the investigation of data from six international cancer research centers, comprising 7,191 American and Austrian individuals, who underwent radical prostatectomy between 2000 and 2011. The surgical procedure that the patient underwent involved the removal of the prostate glands. The study subjects were not administered with chemotherapeutic, hormonal and radiological therapies prior to the operation. The study was only limited to patients whose cancers did not spread outside of the prostate gland.

The findings of the study published in the journal European Urology, reveal that previous smokers were 63 percent more at risk of developing prostate cancer recurrence; however, this risk plummets to the risk level of those who never smoked after 10 years of quitting. Study subjects who continued to smoke after their prostate cancer diagnosis are less likely to respond to treatment, as it would take them 10 years of quitting to reduce their risks of recurrence. Patients who continue to smoke after undergoing prostate gland surgery have an 80 percent risk of cancer recurrence.

"Our study findings underline the importance of informing a prostate cancer patient about the negative effects of smoking," says Professor Shahrokh Shariat, lead author from the University Clinic of Urology at MedUni, Vienna. "It is never too late to quit smoking. On the contrary, as our study shows, it makes sense to quit, even if you are already suffering from prostate cancer."

Experts are still in search for further information that could explain the concrete connection between smoking and prostate cancer. A distinct contrariety exists between previous and latest researches as the former implies an association while the latter lacks evidential links. Nonetheless, it is proven that the risk of death due to prostate cancer is aggravated by smoking.

Numerous queries about prostate cancer and smoking have not found concrete answers, concludes Shariat. Further investigations are necessary to establish sufficient explanations. A previous study by the Harvard School of Public Health and University of California, San Francisco also found that men who were diagnosed with prostate cancer and still continued to smoke had higher chances for their cancers to recur.

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