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STUDY: Stop Smoking
JOURNAL: Eur J Cancer 2002;38:1520-1525.
AUTHORS: Dr. M. Prochazka
ABSTRACT: An international team of researchers report in the European Journal of Cancer that women with a history of breast cancer have a "significantly increased risk of developing a subsequent lung cancer, possibly related to an interaction between radiotherapy and smoking."
COMMENTARY: Dr. M. Prochazka of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and colleagues there and at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, set out to analyze the adverse effects of breast cancer therapy in light of prolonged survival in these patients.
Using the Swedish Cancer Registry, the investigators identified approximately 141,000 women with breast cancer diagnosed between 1958 and 1997. The cohort was then followed for the development of lung cancer.
Dr. Prochazka and colleagues found 613 subsequent lung cancer cases among this cohort and "a statistically significant increased risk of lung cancer was seen > 5 years after breast cancer diagnosis, in contrast to a significantly decreased risk in the first 5 years after the breast cancer diagnosis."
Women with a history of breast cancer who continue to smoke may experience an interaction between smoking and radiotherapy that makes them more susceptible to subsequent lung cancer, Dr. Prochazka's group concludes.