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Smoking Cessation and Continued Risk in Cancer Patients

Poorer Treatment Response in Cancer Patients

If cancer is diagnosed in a smoker, studies have found that quitting smoking will still be helpful. Even recent quitters are more likely to recover from cancer than smoking patients are. Continuing to smoke may decrease the effectiveness of treatment and may worsen treatment side effects. For example, patients who have received radiation therapy for laryngeal cancer are less likely to regain satisfactory voice quality if they continue to smoke. Also, wound healing following surgery will be more difficult if one continues to smoke. Studies have found that prostate cancer patients who keep smoking have an increased risk of earlier recurrence and death from prostate cancer. Prostate cancer patients who quit smoking for 10 years or longer, however, have about the same risk of death as nonsmokers.