Smoking increases risk of death in women with breast cancer: study

18:55, November 09, 2010      

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Women who are current or past smokers face a greater risk of dying from breast cancer, according to a new University of California, San Francisco study published by HealthDay News on Monday.

The study involved 2,265 multi-ethnic women diagnosed with breast cancer between 1997 and 2000. Researchers examined whether smoking affected death rates from breast cancer, non-breast cancer-related causes and death from all causes.

Results showed that 164 deaths from breast cancer and 120 deaths from non-breast cancer causes occurred during an average of nine years of follow-up.

Those women who were current or past smokers also had a twofold increase in the risk of dying from non-breast cancer-related causes compared with women with breast cancer who had never smoked.

"We found that women who are current smokers or have a history of smoking had a 39 percent higher rate of dying from breast cancer, even after we took into account a wide array of known prognostic factors including clinical, socioeconomic and behavioral factors," said Assistant Professor Dejana Braithwaite from the division of cancer epidemiology, department of epidemiology and biostatistics at the university.

The analysis was also conducted to examine whether body mass index, molecular breast cancer subtype or menopausal status modified risk.

Compared with those who never smoked, women who were current or past smokers and also had a HER2-negative tumor subtype had a 61 percent increased risk of dying from breast cancer, smokers with a body mass index less than 25 kg/m2 had an 83 percent risk and postmenopausal women 47 percent.

HER2 stands for "human epidermal growth factor receptor 2" and is a protein giving higher aggressiveness in breast cancers.

"The implication of this research is that it is important for physicians to improve smoking cessation efforts, especially among women newly diagnosed with breast cancer, in order to improve breast cancer specific outcomes and overall health outcomes," Braithwaite said.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:王寒露)

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