Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Smoking May increase Risk of Death in Women With Breast Cancer

New study finds, Breast cancer patients who smoke or previously smoked have a higher risk of dying than nonsmokers with breast cancer.
"Women who were smokers or had a record of smoking had a 39 percent higher rate of death due to breast cancer," said study author Dr. Dejana Braithwaite, an assistant professor of cancer epidemiology at the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center of the University of California, San Francisco. 

"The strength of our study is, it's a very huge study of over 2,000 women diagnosed with breast cancer" at two sites in the United States, she said. For this study, Braithwaite followed 2,265 women of many ethnicities, all diagnosed with breast cancer between 1997 and 2000, for nine years on usual. The researchers looked at whether smoking affects breast cancer-related death rates and death rates from other causes.
During the follow-up, 164 women died of breast cancer and another 120 from other causes.In this study, 893 were former smokers,173 current and 1,199 never-smokers. "Their study is important," said Daniel Wartenberg, a professor of epidemiology at the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in Piscataway, N.J. He previously considered the effect of passive smoking on breast cancer death rates and found no link.
If these results are confirmed by other studies, he said, "that's a really important message, that getting people to stop smoking and prevent exposure may have a significant effect on reducing cancer deaths."

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