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Smoking Worsens Prostate Cancer Therapy Side Effects

Smoking patients had higher rates of gastrointestinal troubles, study found

MONDAY, Nov. 6, 2006 (HealthDay News) -- Prostate cancer patients who smoke suffer worse acute gastrointestinal side effects from radiation treatment than nonsmokers, U.S. researchers report.

The study, by researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, included nearly 1,200 prostate cancer patients treated at that center between 1991 and 2001.

The patients were classified as either current smokers, ex-smokers, or nonsmokers. Patients treated with androgen-deprivation therapy prior to or during radiation treatment were excluded from the study.

"Our patients who smoked during treatment reported having more acute gastrointestinal (GI) side effects, such as diarrhea," study lead author Dr. Niraj Pahlajani, a resident in the radiation oncology department, said in a prepared statement.

"Fortunately, smoking doesn't appear to impact long-term GI side effects or genitourinary side effects. These results underscore the importance of smoking cessation prior to radiation therapy," Pahlajani said.

The study was presented Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology, in Philadelphia.

More information

The American Cancer Society has more about radiation therapy for prostate cancer.

SOURCE: Fox Chase Cancer Center, news release, Nov. 5, 2006
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