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Lifestyle and cancer prevention: Making choices that change cancer risk
Date:12/7/2007

oping lung cancer if they eat three servings or less of salad a week, compared to current smokers who do eat four or more salads weekly. Reduction of risk through gardening was about the same (33 percent) as seen in former smokers, they found. The investigators are also exploring the role of diet and physical activity in lung cancer risk for never-smokers.

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

The data come from M. D. Andersons case control study of lung cancer, involving more than 3,800 participants. Its unique design matches lung cancer patients at M. D. Anderson with participants who are treated at a Houston HMO and divides them by smoking status. So, for example, a person who has never smoked but who developed lung cancer would be matched with a never-smoker who is cancer-free, and the same pairing process is done for former and current smokers with and without lung cancer. All participants are non-Hispanic whites.

The model has already identified a variety of epidemiologic risk factors for lung cancer due to exposure to second-hand smoke and to dust, family history of cancer, history of respiratory disease in the patient and smoking history. With those variables, the discriminatory power of the model was modest.

This study added diet and physical activity to the list of potential factors, making it the first risk prediction model to address both of these variables at the same time, Forman says. To do that, investigators asked participants about eating salad because salad is a marker for consumption of many vegetables, and polled participants about gardening activity because we found that gardening is one of the few activities that people with lung cancer report doing, she said.

According to Forman, the researchers do not know yet whether those habits of eating well and exercising are a marker for other
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Contact: Greg Lester
greg.lester@aacr.org
267-646-0554
American Association for Cancer Research
Source:Eurekalert

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