Smoking Tied to Breast Cancer Outcomes

A study published in Cancer Science reported premenopausal women with breast cancer were more likely to die if they were also smokers.

A study published in Cancer Science reported premenopausal women with breast cancer were more likely to die if they smoked.

For their study, Japanese researchers looked at 170-all cause mortality and 132 breast cancer cases at a Japanese hospital from 1997 to 2007, conducting follow-up until December, 2010.

Based on a median follow-up of 6.7 years, the team found smoking more than 21.5 years was linked to both all-cause mortality (HR = 3.09, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.17-8.20) and breast cancer-related death among premenopausal women (HR = 3.35, 95% CI: 1.22-9.23, Ptrend = 0.035). The researchers also noted that long-term smoking was tied to an increase in mortality in cancer patients with estrogen or progesterone receptor tumors. However, they noted secondhand or passive smoking did not influence any trends they were investigating.

“Our results suggest that a longer duration of active smoking is associated with an increased risk of all-cause and breast cancer-specific death among premenopausal patients, possibly with hormonal receptor-positive tumors. Breast cancer patients should be informed about the importance of smoking cessation,” the researchers wrote.

“Overall, this work is monumental in advising patients about how their smoking might affect their outcome,” co-author of the study, Yuko Minami, commented in a press release. “Hopefully this paper will serve to reduce the number of breast cancer patients who continue to smoke.”