Smoking is bad for your health. Smoking causes lung cancer. These statements are common knowledge. A recent study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), reveals that men with prostate cancer who smoke have a 61% increased risk of a recurrence of disease after treatment, as well as a 61% increase in death resulting from prostate cancer. It also divulges that men who smoke when diagnosed with prostate cancer are more likely to develop a more aggressive and deadly form of the cancer. Coincidentally, the FDA announced this week that new health warnings must be displayed on all cigarette packages and advertisements in the United States beginning no later than September 2012. The new, larger warning labels show pictures of the effects smoking has on a person's health in graphic detail. They are intended to impact public health by discouraging young people from smoking and encouraging current smokers to quit.

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of death in men in the United States. Dr. David Samadi, a leading prostate cancer treatment, robotic prostatectomy, and robotic surgery expert, states, "There are no known ways to prevent prostate cancer and there are no noticeable symptoms of prostate cancer in its early stages. This is why it's important for men, especially those over the age of 50, to get an annual physical exam; including a PSA blood test and a Digital Rectal Exam of the prostate. Men with high risk factors, such as a family history of the disease, should start their prostate screening at age 40." Dr. Samadi also performs advanced, minimally-invasive prostate cancer treatments, including his own SMART surgery technique, (Samadi Modified Advanced Robotic Technique) that greatly improves a patient's chances of regaining continence and sexual function after a prostatectomy procedure.

Dr. Samadi wasn't surprised to hear that the study published in JAMA found a 61% increased risk of dying from prostate cancer for smokers and an equal percentage of its recurrence. Citing another study, Dr. Samadi said, "Smoking even one cigarette causes damage to DNA almost immediately. Cancer is a systemic disease. Once DNA has mutated and is flowing through the blood, all organs are at risk."

The FDA has selected nine health warnings to communicate the negative consequences of smoking. These are explicit, sometimes heart-wrenching, images to be prominently displayed on cigarette packages and advertisements. Each time the smoker picks up a pack of cigarettes there will be a visual reminder of its dangers along with the words "1-800-QUITNOW," encouraging smokers to call a toll-free quit-line. "It's controversial," Dr. Samadi commented. "The photos are quite graphic. And now that we are finding a link between smoking and previously unassociated cancers, it's another tool in the war against smoking and prostate cancer."