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Everyday Choices Can Influence Cancer Risk
Date:12/7/2007

More salads, exercise, can keep lung tumors at bay, one study found

FRIDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- While genes and environment can affect your risk for cancer, so can everyday lifestyle choices on things such as diet, exercise and smoking, new research shows.

The findings were to be presented Friday in Philadelphia at an American Association for Cancer Research conference on cancer prevention.

One study found that people who quit smoking can further reduce their risk of lung cancer by eating plenty of vegetables (four or more servings of salad a week or equivalent). The researchers at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center also found that former smokers who get exercise through gardening are 45 percent less likely to get lung cancer than former smokers who don't garden.

Current smokers who ate three servings or less of salad a week were two times more likely to develop lung cancer than current smokers who ate four or more salads a week. Current smokers who gardened were 33 percent less likely to get lung cancer than current smokers who didn't garden, the Texas team found.

"Although this is a very preliminary analysis, it give us some important clues about how everyone -- smokers and non-smokers alike -- might be able to reduce their risk of developing lung cancer," Michele Forman, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Texas, said in a prepared statement.

"If you are worried about lung cancer risk, this study shows that you may benefit from eating a healthy diet and being physically active," she said.

A second study suggests that males may be more prone to developing cancer than females because of gender differences in antioxidant levels and the ability to repair DNA damage.

The Ohio State University study found that the same degree of damaging ultraviolet (UV) light caused more damage to the skin of male mice than to that of female mice. As a result, the male
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