MONDAY, May 16 (HealthDay News) -- In men who've had their prostate surgically removed due to prostate cancer, smoking seems linked to a rise in blood levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA) -- a measure of the risk of cancer recurrence.

So finds a new study slated to be presented Monday at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association (AUA) in Washington, D.C.

The study included 321 smokers and 309 nonsmokers who underwent radical prostatectomy (surgical removal of the prostate) between 1989 and 2005. Smokers had a higher volume and a greater volume of high-grade cancer than nonsmokers, according to the Stanford University School of Medicine researchers.

Smokers also tended to chart a steeper rise in their blood levels of PSA, signaling a greater risk of "biochemical recurrence" of prostate cancer. PSA levels rose approximately one percent per pack-year smoked, the team found.

"These data indicate that smoking history could provide valuable insight and should be included in risk-assessment models for prostate cancer," study presenter Dr. Joseph C. Presti said in an AUA news release.

"The study also presents a strong message to men: quitting smoking now could impact your ability to survive prostate cancer later," he added.

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about prostate cancer.