WASHINGTON, D.C.—Pre-cystectomy smoking habits influence survival following radical cystectomy for bladder cancer, according to researchers.

A team led by Anirban Mitra, MD, PhD, a research associate in the Keck School of Medicine at the University of California in Los Angeles, looked at the relationship between pre-cystectomy smoking status on post-operative outcomes in a group of 1,185 patients. During a median follow-up of 67.8 months, 696 patients (59%) died, 321 (27%) of bladder cancer.

Compared with non-smokers, current smokers and ex-smokers were at significantly increased risk of recurrence and overall mortality. Notably, current smokers and those who smoked for more than 40 years were at 1.18 and 1.15 times increased risk of death compared with nonsmokers.

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“Smokers and nonsmokers may essentially harbor two completely different types of diseases,” Dr. Mitra said in an interview with Renal & Urology News.

He explained that the differences in survival may not be due just to the effect of pre-cystectomy smoking on tumor behavior, but also to the overall patient comorbidity burden.