[Study] Smokers more likely to suffer “aggressive” kidney cancer

Today in unsurprising medical findings, a study has determined smokers are more likely to develop an “aggressive” form of kidney cancer than non-smokers.

Over 800 patients were included in the study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, and smokers were more heavily affected with the illness than those who do not smoke. One in four of those undergoing surgery for the form of cancer smoked, compared with one in five patients who were classed as non-smokers. The cancer was also found to be more aggressive in smokers than non-smokers.

According to the American Cancer Society, one in 70 Americans will ultimately develop kidney cancer. In 70% of cases, survival rates are up to 70% if the disease is caught in its early stages. That rate falls to only 8% survival when the cancer spreads beyond that stage. Mayo Clinic kidney cancer expert Alexander S. Parker noted that smokers are also less likely to focus on overall healthcare, which could account for the disparity:

“If this is true, then it would not be the case that the biology of these tumors is different,” he told Reuters Health in an email. “Rather, just that the individuals themselves have less contact with the health care system and are less likely to be diagnosed when their cancers are at an early, treatable stage.”

Overall, smokers have “twice the risk” of developing kidney cancer.