The association between smoking and breast cancer characteristics and outcome

Hadar Goldvaser*, Omer Gal, Shulamith Rizel, Daniel Hendler, Victoria Neiman, Tzippy Shochat, Aaron Sulkes, Baruch Brenner, Rinat Yerushalmi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Smoking is associated with an increased incidence of hormone receptor positive breast cancer. Data regarding worse breast cancer outcome in smokers are accumulating. Current literature regarding the impact of smoking on breast cancer characteristics is limited. We evaluated the impact of smoking on breast cancer characteristics and outcome. Methods: This was a retrospective single center study. All women diagnosed from 4/2005 through 3/2012 and treated in our institute for early, estrogen receptor positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) negative breast cancer, whose tumors were sent for Oncotype DX analysis were included. Medical records were reviewed for demographics, clinico-pathological parameters, treatment and outcome. Data regarding smoking were retrieved according to patients' history at the first visit in the oncology clinic. Patients were grouped and compared according to smoking history (ever smokers vs. never smokers), smoking status (current vs. former and never smokers) and smoking intensity (pack years ≥30 vs. the rest of the cohort). Outcomes were adjusted in multivariate analyses and included age, menopausal status, ethnicity, tumor size, nodal status and grade. Results: A total of 662 women were included. 28.2% had a history of smoking, 16.6% were current smokers and 11.3% were heavy smokers. Smoking had no impact on tumor size, nodal involvement and Oncotype DX recurrence score. Angiolymphatic and perineural invasion rates were higher in current smokers than in the rest of the cohort (10.4% vs. 5.1%, p=0.045, 8.3% vs. 3.5%, p=0.031, respectively). Smoking had no other impact on histological characteristics. Five-year disease free survival and overall survival rates were 95.7% and 98.5%, respectively. Smoking had no impact on outcomes. Adjusted disease free survival and overall survival did not influence the results. Conclusions: Smoking had no clinically significant influence on tumor characteristics and outcome among women with estrogen receptor positive, HER2 negative, early breast cancer. As the study was limited to a specific subgroup of the breast cancer population in this heterogeneous disease and since smoking is a modifiable risk factor for the disease, further research is required to clarify the possible impact of smoking on breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number624
JournalBMC Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - 6 Sep 2017


  • Breast cancer
  • Estrogen receptor positive
  • Smoking
  • Tobacco


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