I hope in previous posts I have made it abundantly clear that smoking cigarettes and looking for low life insurance rates is an oxymoronic walk in which you can’t get there from here.

I have also gone on a bit about the reasons that life insurance underwriters are as hard as they are on people who smoke.

Recently in a post about prostate cancer I passed on the results of a study that showed that men who smoked were no more likely to get prostate cancer than those who didn’t smoke. But they were substantially more likely to have a higher grade, more aggressive type of prostate cancer, and a higher mortality experience from the cancer.

In an article today, there was good news and bad news for women who smoke. The good news is that unlike prostate cancer, smoking does not seem to increase the probability of a higher stage or grade breast cancer.

The bad news is that smoking does seem to diminish the effectiveness of cancer treatments. There is also a lingering question about the long term effect that smoking may have on a breast cancer tumor. Even though it may not cause the cancer to be a faster growing or more aggressive cancer, will it cause the tumor to be harder to treat or make the possibility of recurrence higher?

Bottom line. From a life insurance standpoint, there really is no upside to smoking. The truth is that a woman who has been successfully treated for a low to moderate stage breast cancer can expect, in the long run, to get better rates than a woman who smokes and has never been sick a day in her life.