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Smoking Can Elevate Risk Of Developing a Second Smoking Related Cancer

Update Date: Nov 11, 2014 10:01 AM EST

Cigarette smoking before the first diagnosis of lung, bladder, kidney or head and neck cancer can increase risk of developing a second smoking associated cancer, according to a new study. The study is an analysis of five large, prospective cohort studies. 

The study noted that lung, bladder, kidney and head and neck cancer survivors who smoked 20 or more cigarettes a day prior to their cancer diagnoses have an up to five-fold higher risk of developing a second smoking-associated cancer compared to survivors of the same cancer who never smoked. 

"As survival improves for a number of smoking-related cancers, patients are living longer; however, smoking may increase the risk of developing a second smoking-related cancer among these survivors," said lead study author Meredith S. Shiels, PhD, MHs, a research fellow with the National Cancer Institute's Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics. "Our study demonstrates that health care providers should emphasize the importance of smoking cessation to all their patients, including cancer survivors."

Dr. Shiels stated that further research should directly assess the association between smoking after a first cancer diagnosis and second cancer risk.

The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. 

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