Cigarette smoking is an independent risk factor for advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC), according to researchers who studied 845 patients—including 207 (24.5%) with advanced disease—who underwent surgery for the cancer.

The 164 patients (19.4%) who were current smokers had a 50% increased risk of developing advanced disease. The 246 (29.1%) who had quit had a 60% increased risk.

Advanced disease was diagnosed in only 20.2% of the never-smokers, 28.7% of the current smokers, and 29.3% of the former smokers, some of whom had indulged in the habit for decades before quitting. Patients who had quit for at least 20 years brought down their risk for advanced RCC to 22%, comparable to the 20% risk of the never-smokers. The research, conducted by a team led by Matvey Tsivian, MD, a urologic oncology fellow at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., was published online by Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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