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Smoking Pose Higher Risks of Malignancies for Liver Transplant Patients

It looks like there’s another reason to stop smoking — this time specifically for patients who have undergone liver transplants.

A report made by Spanish researchers will be published in the April issue of the Liver Transplantation, a journal from the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. According to the results of their study, liver transplant patients who stop smoking have lower risks of smoking-related malignancies (SRM) compared to patients who continue their smoking habit despite having undergone liver transplants.

smokingDr. J. Ignacio Herrera who led the team says that “smoking is related to some of the most frequent causes of post-transplant malignancy. We investigated whether the risks of developing malignancies was different in patients who ceased smoking than in patients who maintained smoking after transplantation.” This they found out by studying liver transplant patients who smoked after they had their procedures done, and those who ceased the activity after. They put risk factors on cancers of the lung, head and neck, kidney, and urinary tract after transplantation in their study.

Having controlled other factors in the population that they studied, it was found out that after an average of 7.5 years, 26 of the 339 liver transplant subjects had 29 smoking-related malignancies. When they analyzed their results further, smoking and higher age did not play any role in the development of SRMs for the general population. But when the group was identified into smoking and non-smoking participants, age and smoking clearly became a factor for SRM in the smoker’s side.

Dr. Herrero then advised that there should be programs for liver transplant patients and survivors to discourage them from smoking. He hopes that screening and intervention programs can somehow lessen the cases of cancer-related mortality in this specific group of patients. It’s about time they think twice before going into the dangerous habit.

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