Cigarettes could limit the body’s ability to fight skin cancer, according to worrying new research.
Patients with melanoma who have a history of smoking are 40% less likely to survive the disease than those who have never smoked, a study published in journal Cancer Research found.
Researchers from the University of Leeds said the findings were yet another reason why smokers should kick the habit.
They said the immune response of smokers was less effective than those who had never smoked, which reduces their chances of survival.
Professor Julia Newton-Bishop from the University of Leeds said: ‘The immune system is like an orchestra, with multiple pieces.
‘This research suggests that smoking might disrupt how it works together in tune, allowing the musicians to continue playing but possibly in a more disorganised way.’
The study used data from more than 700 patients with melanoma, a dangerous type of skin cancer which can spread to other organs.
Smokers and former smokers were 40% less likely to survive for 10 years after their diagnosis, when compared to people who had never smoked, the research found.