Smoking can almost double the risk of prostate cancer returning after surgery, a study has found.
Ex-smokers were also at greater risk of recurring cancer, but not those who quit the habit 10 years or more before having their prostate glands removed.
The findings, published in the journal European Urology, make it seem more likely that there is a link between smoking and prostate cancer. Previous research has shown that smokers are more likely to die from the disease, but the results of other studies have been inconclusive.
The new study looked at 7,191 American and Austrian patients who had their prostate glands removed between 2000 and 2011.
Over a period of around 28 months, current smokers had an 80% increased likelihood of cancer returning after surgery than those who had never smoked.
Former smokers were 63% more at risk, but 10 years after quitting their chances of a recurrence fell to the same level as those who had never smoked.