MedWatch-Smoking and prostate cancer

MedWatch-Smoking and prostate cancer

(CNN) -We know there are many reasons to quit smoking, but now new research provides one more, and men, it might surprise you.

Cigarettes…they don't just lead to yellow teeth and wrinkled skin. Much more importantly is an increased risk for lung cancer and heart disease. Now, new research adds weight to the notion that stubbing out a smoking habit also cuts the risk of another potential killer for men, prostate cancer.

Past research has shown that men with prostate cancer who smoke are at higher risk for a more aggressive form and have a higher chance of dying from prostate cancer than their non-smoking counterparts. So, to see whether quit rates correlated with fewer deaths from this cancer, researchers at Johns Hopkins looked at smoking prevalence and prostate cancer death rates. They focused on men 35 and older in four states: California, Kentucky, Maryland and Utah.

They followed these men for more than a decade, finding that both the number of men who smoked and the number of prostate cancer deaths declined. More research is needed before we can say for sure that lower smoking trends directly resulted in the decrease in prostate cancer deaths, but for men who need another reason to quit, it offers yet more motivation to make their last cigarette. The last one they'll ever have.

In related health news, be sure to get your free cancer screening on May 14. Screenings are from 8 a.m. until noon at the Leah M. Fitch Cancer Center. For an appointment, call 580-250-6565.

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