The Prostate Cancer Charity comments on new research into smoking and risk of death from the disease

The Prostate Cancer Charity comments on new research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), which suggests that men who smoked at the time of their prostate cancer diagnosis are at an increased risk of dying from the disease.

Ruth Holdaway, Director of Operations at The Prostate Cancer Charity, explains: "This in-depth study provides us with some important indications about how smoking can affect a man's general health as well as his risk of dying of prostate cancer.

"The researchers have found that men who were smokers at the time of their diagnosis with prostate cancer ran an increased risk of the disease returning and were more likely to die as a result. Smokers in the study were also found to be at greater risk of death from other conditions such as heart problems than non-smokers.

"Whilst the researchers speculate that smoking may have a biological role to play in how prostate cancer develops, this remains unclear. It is important to remember that a man's overall health is a key factor. Smokers in the study tended to exercise less and had a higher intake of saturated fat than men who had never smoked, and these findings also need to be taken into account. Interestingly, the research shows that men who have quit smoking for more than 10 years had the same risk of dying from prostate cancer as men who have never smoked, suggesting that improvements made to a man's lifestyle at any time can have a positive impact on their overall health.

"We would certainly advise that men do not smoke for many reasons, keeping your heart and the rest of your body healthy in many ways, including healthy diet, regular exercise, and of course, refraining from smoking, will offer the strongest chance of surviving prostate cancer," she added.