Women who are current or past smokers face a greater risk of dying from breast cancer, according to a new University of California, San Francisco study published by HealthDay News on Monday.
The study involved 2,265 multi-ethnic women diagnosed with breast cancer between 1997 and 2000. Researchers examined whether smoking affected death rates from breast cancer, non-breast cancer-related causes and death from all causes.
Results showed that 164 deaths from breast cancer and 120 deaths from non-breast cancer causes occurred during an average of nine years of follow-up.
Those women who were current or past smokers also had a twofold increase in the risk of dying from non-breast cancer-related causes compared with women with breast cancer who had never smoked.
“We found that women who are current smokers or have a history of smoking had a 39 percent higher rate of dying from breast cancer, even after we took into account a wide array of known prognostic factors including clinical, socioeconomic and behavioral factors,” said Assistant Professor Dejana Braithwaite from the division of cancer epidemiology, department of epidemiology and biostatistics at the university.
The analysis was also conducted to examine whether body mass index, molecular breast cancer subtype or menopausal status modified risk.