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Breast Cancer and Smoking

Women smokers undergoing treatment for early breast cancer are more than twice as likely to die of the disease than nonsmokers or smokers who quit. According to a study of 1,900 women at Philadelphia's Fox Chase Cancer Center, women who continue to smoke during radiation therapy are two-and-one-half times more likely to die of the cancer than nonsmoking women. The study, published in 2003, found if women stop smoking before treatment, their risk of dying is the same as women who never smoked.