Smokers have worse colon cancer prognosis: study

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center as view...

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center as viewed from the west. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Andrew M. Seaman

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Smokers are less likely to be alive and cancer-free three years after having surgery for colon cancer than people who have never smoked, according to a new study.

Out of about 2,000 people who had part of their colon surgically removed, researchers found 74 percent of those who had never smoked were cancer-free three years later, compared to 70 percent of smokers.

Amanda Phipps, the study’s lead author from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, said the results provide another reason why people should quit smoking.

“It’s nice when you have findings that portray a consistent public health message,” said Phipps.

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), certain ingredients in cigarettes can dissolve into a person’s saliva and cause colon and other cancers.

The ACS estimates about 102,500 Americans will be diagnosed with colon and rectal cancers in 2013, and over 40,000 will die from those diseases.

Phipps and her colleagues previously found smokers with colon cancer were more likely to die than non-smokers from any cause and specifically from their cancers. But the researchers wanted to take a closer look at what smoking meant for colon cancer recurrence.

For the new study, they analyzed surveys that were given to about 2,000 people between 2004 and 2005 after they had colon cancer surgery but before they received additional treatment.

Overall, 931 people said they had never smoked and 1,028 said they had smoked at least 100 cigarettes during their lifetime.

Phipps and her colleagues found people who reported smoking were 23 percent more likely to die or have their cancer return within three years, based on ongoing surveillance of those patients.

The difference was even more pronounced for the 140 people who said they were smoking at the time they were diagnosed with colon cancer. They were 47 percent more likely to have a cancer recurrence or to die than people who had never smoked.

“There is a difference. Certainly we see those current smokers have a poorer prognosis,” Phipps told Reuters Health.

The researchers found smoking was tied to worse outcomes in people with tumors with certain genetic patterns but not others. Tumors that were positive for so-called KRAS mutations, for example, came with a significantly worse prognosis among smokers than non-smokers.

Overall, the researchers wrote in the Journal of Clinical Oncology that their findings show “the effects of smoking may extend beyond an adverse impact on colon cancer risk to also adversely impact outcomes after diagnosis.”

The results only looked at outcomes over a short period of time, Phipps noted.

She added that for people who continue to smoke, the health risks – such as for heart disease and other cancers – will continue to accrue as times goes on.

“I would say as we get further and further away from a colon cancer diagnosis, the impact from smoking is going to get greater,” she said.

SOURCE: http://bit.ly/11n7yOq Journal of Clinical Oncology, online April 1, 2013.

Related articles

Enhanced by Zemanta
Cancer Defeated Publications - Natural Cancer Remedies

Recommended For You

U.S. envoy Samantha Power travels to Ebola-stricken West Africa

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, is traveling to Guinea on Sunday and will also visit Liberia and Sierra Leone, making the trip despite calls by some U.S. lawmakers for a travel ban on the three West African countries worst-affected by Ebola.

Ebola: Local hospitals cannot be prepared

Recently at our community hospital, after we concluded a nearly two-hour standing room only Ebola preparedness meeting, I practiced donning and doffing the personal protective equipment (PPE) for Ebola cases.

PPE is the protective wardrobe health workers wear when examining a patient with a contagious infectious disease. Each disease has a different level of transmission and requires an appropriate level of protection. I wear gloves 25 times a day to examine each patient I see. (Not all doctors do this; in my specialty of infectious diseases, though, it is prudent.) I dress in a gown a dozen times when entering a room of a patient with antibiotic resistant bacteria like MRSA. I place on a mask a few times a day when I suspect that the patient has the flu or tuberculosis.

Continue reading …

Your patients are rating you online: How to respond. Manage your online reputation: A social media guide. Find out how.


The success of health programs depends on execution

A few years ago, I was doing a summer internship in which I looked at health outcomes for hospitalized patients. I sat in an office and read about patients with issues like high blood pressure and cholesterol. At a certain point, I realized that the reports on their outcomes were interesting, but the real solution to the problems I was studying was happening outside my window. My window overlooked a park, where kids would run around all day until they were exhausted. And it got me thinking that if all kids were as active as those ones, there would a lot fewer reports for me to read.

Continue reading …

Your patients are rating you online: How to respond. Manage your online reputation: A social media guide. Find out how.


Helicopter emergency services: A disparity between aviation and medical proficiency

As the helicopter emergency services (HEMS) industry enters its fifth decade, there is an 800-pound gorilla in the room and nobody is talking. The average EMT, fireman and emergency physician too often make the flawed assumption that when it comes to HEMS, the industry is a uniform, high quality, strictly regulated entity. They assume that all HEMS programs use state of the art aircraft flown by well trained, experienced pilots. They assume all medical crews are the best of the best in their vocations receiving recurrent specialty training in the ICUs, ORs and EDs of regional hospitals.

Continue reading …

Your patients are rating you online: How to respond. Manage your online reputation: A social media guide. Find out how.


Mali to keep Guinea border open despite Ebola death: president

BAMAKO (Reuters) – Mali will not close its border with neighboring Guinea after a two-year-old girl infected with Ebola was brought across the frontier by her grandmother and died in Mali this week, President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita said on Saturday.

MKSAP: 42-year-old man with severe burning and stabbing pain

Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians.

A 42-year-old man is evaluated for a 6-day history of severe burning and stabbing pain in both feet that is worse in the toes. The pain is more severe at night, is aggravated when the bed sheets touch his skin, and is partially relieved when he walks or massages his feet. The patient has an 8-year history of poorly controlled type 1 diabetes mellitus and a 2-year history of hypertension. He was hospitalized briefly 2 weeks ago for treatment of pneumonia and diabetic ketoacidosis. His fasting blood glucose levels have been in the range of 150 to 200 mg/dL (8.3-11.1 mmol/L) since hospital discharge. He does not drink alcohol or smoke. Medications are insulin glargine, insulin glulisine, and lisinopril.

On physical examination, vital signs are normal; BMI is 22. Both feet and ankles are exquisitely sensitive to touch and temperature, especially on the tips of the toes. Pulses are easily palpated in both feet. No fasciculations, muscle weakness, foot ulcers, or foot deformities are noted. Monofilament testing reveals insensate feet bilaterally. Ankle reflexes are absent bilaterally.

Results of laboratory studies show a HbA1c value of 9.2%.

In addition to improving glycemic control, which of the following is the most appropriate next step in management?

A. Desipramine
B. Fluoxetine
C. Nerve conduction studies
D. Oxycodone
E. Sural nerve biopsy

Continue reading …

Your patients are rating you online: How to respond. Manage your online reputation: A social media guide. Find out how.


Obama: ‘We have to be guided by the facts, not fear’ on Ebola

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama commended New Yorkers for their calm reaction to the city’s first case of Ebola and told Americans in his weekly address that the response to domestic cases of the deadly disease needs to be based on “facts, not fear.”

Two U.S. states to quarantine health workers returning from Ebola zones

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – New York and New Jersey will automatically quarantine medical workers returning from Ebola-hit West African countries and the U.S. government is considering the same step after a doctor who treated patients in Guinea came back infected, officials said on Friday.

Thumbnail for 188053

Twitter counts for this doctor. Read why.

Whenever I speak about social media, much of it has to do with Twitter. It has become part of my daily routine, much like checking email or going to news media sites. I will often check-in on Twitter and will respond to items of interest — whether or not tweets were sent directly to me. However, I am cognizant of how foreign a concept Twitter is among my peers in general. Indeed, whenever Twitter comes up, a common refrain emerges: “I could never do Twitter. I devote enough time to work; I don’t need to do anything else — especially something that doesn’t count at all.”

Continue reading …

Your patients are rating you online: How to respond. Manage your online reputation: A social media guide. Find out how.


Useful Information

Leave a Reply