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Lifestyle History Affects Men's Cancer Survival

Poorer outcomes associated with smoking, heavy drinking or insulin resistance but not obesity

FRIDAY, Nov. 10 (HealthDay News) -- In men newly diagnosed with cancer, overall survival is significantly affected by a history of smoking, heavy alcohol consumption or insulin resistance, but not by a history of obesity, according to a study published in the Nov. 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Sang Min Park, M.D., of the Research Institute for National Cancer Control and Evaluation at the National Cancer Center in Seoul, Korea, and colleagues studied 14,578 Korean men.

The researchers found that smoking was significantly associated with poor survival of all cancer combined (hazard ratio, 1.24), lung cancer (HR, 1.45) and liver cancer (HR, 1.36). They also found that heavy drinking was associated with poor survival of head and neck cancer (HR, 1.85) and liver cancer (HR=1.25), and that a high fasting serum glucose level was associated with poor survival of stomach cancer (HR, 1.52) and lung cancer (HR, 1.48). But they found that obesity was significantly associated with longer survival, especially of head and neck cancer (HR, 0.54) and esophageal cancer (HR, 0.44). They suggest that heavier patients may have been better able to withstand treatment in several cancers.

"This suggests that patient survival could be improved by discontinuing smoking and drinking, and by reducing insulin resistance, and patients with these risk factors could be identified in clinics," the authors conclude.

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