Health Discoveries in Kidney Cancer

Late-stage kidney cancer more common in smokers

April 26, 2011
More aggressive kidney cancer appears to occur in smokers than in nonsmokers who develop the disease, according to a study at Duke University.

That finding, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, showed that late-stage cancer was 60 percent more likely in smokers than in nonsmokers with kidney cancer. When advanced cancer spreads to other parts of the body survival is only 8 percent, compared to 70 percent who survive for at least five years when cancer is diagnosed in an early stage.

For former smokers, the chance of developed advanced cancer went down by 9 percent for every decade they remained smoke-free, an indication that quitting may slow tumor growth.

"It can't bring you down to the risk of a nonsmoker, but it can get you almost there," said Dr. Thomas Polascik, a surgeon at the university hospital where the 845 people in the study had surgery for kidney cancer.

The Arthur Smith Institute for Urology, a part of the North Shore-LIJ Health System, provides comprehensive urologic care in the Long Island and New York area, including minimally-invasive treatment of the prostate, bladder and kidneys.
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