Radiotherapy risks are much higher for smokers

Smokers treated for breast cancer have a significantly higher risk than non-smokers of developing lung cancer or heart attack as a result of radiotherapy– according to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

The study shows that for non-smokers the long-term  risk of death from lung cancer or heart attack – caused by radiation – is only  0.5 percent. But for smokers, this increases to around 5 percent.

These findings are based on a worldwide study by the Early Breast Cancer Trialists’ Collaborative Group of the lung and heart radiation doses and risks among 40,781 women with breast cancer in 75 randomised trials of radiotherapy.

Cancer Research UK, 20/03/17