Quitting smoking improves health and lowers odds of developing lung cancer. But a new study shows that even among smokers with a genetic predisposition to smoking heavily and developing young cancer at a young age, the benefits of quitting are significant. An international study led by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the Siteman Cancer Center indicates that in these high-risk smokers, quitting cuts lung cancer risk in half and delays the age at which the disease is diagnosed.
AN INTERNATIONAL STUDY, LED BY RESEARCHERS AT WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE IN ST. LOUIS AND THE SITEMAN CANCER CENTER, SHOWS THAT QUITTING SMOKING IMPROVES HEALTH AND LOWERS THE ODDS OF DEVELOPING LUNG CANCER, EVEN AMONG SMOKERS WHO ARE GENETICALLY PREDISPOSED TO SMOKE HEAVILY AND TO DEVELOP CANCER AT A YOUNGER AGE. JIM DRYDEN HAS THE STORY
THE NEW FINDINGS SUGGEST THAT DOCTORS MIGHT WANT TO REQUEST DNA ANALYSIS FROM SMOKERS IN ORDER TO EMPLOY THE MOST EFFECTIVE THERAPIES TO HELP THEM QUIT, BUT THERES NO DOUBT, SAYS WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY RESEARCHER LI-SHIUN CHEN, THAT KICKING THE SMOKING HABIT CAN CUT CANCER RISK, EVEN IN SMOKERS WHO HAVE A GENETIC PROFILE THAT PUTS THEM AT RISK FOR HEAVY SMOKING AND FOR DEVELOPING LUNG CANCER FOUR YEARS EARLIER THAN SMOKERS WHO DONT HAVE THAT GENETIC BURDEN. CHEN SAYS DOCTORS ALWAYS ADVISE SMOKERS THAT THEY SHOULD QUIT
(act) :15 o/c risk anyway
The question is that quitting smoking, does that reverse the
genetic risk? Because one can argue that, Well, I have the
high genetic risk for lung cancer. Its too late for me to
quit. Theres no use. Why should I quit? I have high risk anyway.
BUT, STUDYING DATA FROM MORE THAN 12,000 CURRENT AND FORMER SMOKERS, CHEN AND HER COLLEAGUES FOUND THAT QUITTING SMOKING BENEFITS BOTH THOSE AT ELEVATED GENETIC RISK, AND THOSE SMOKERS WHO DONT HAVE SUCH A RISKY GENE PROFILE. BUT SHE SAYS THE SMOKERS WHO HAVE GENE VARIANTS THAT INCREASE THEIR RISK GET PARTICULAR HEALTH BENEFITS IF THEY CAN MANAGE TO QUIT.
(act) :14 o/c 7 years
Quitting smoking cut the risk of lung cancer in half. And
the second finding is that for those who get lung cancer,
quitting smoking delays the cancer diagnosis by 7 years.
PERHAPS EVEN MORE IMPORTANTLY, CHENS TEAM FOUND THAT THERE WERE BENEFITS BOTH FOR SMOKERS WITH AN ELEVATED RISK AND FOR THOSE WITHOUT THAT RISK.
(act) :18 o/c genetic risks
This is the first time that weve quantified the benefits of
quitting delays cancer by 7 years versus the genetic risk
that accelerates cancer by 4 years. We find that these benefits
of quitting are no different for people with high versus low
SO CHEN SAYS THE FINDINGS DEMONSTRATE THAT A SMOKERS GENES ARENT THE ONLY THINGS DETERMINING WHETHER THAT INDIVIDUAL WILL DEVELOP LUNG CANCER.
(act) :15 o/c my fate
Some people believe that genes determine everything, so
theres no use for me to promote my own health behavior.
And this is a study to really, directly fight the myth of
theres no use. My genes determine my fate.
IN ADDITION, CHENS TEAM ALREADY HAD LEARNED IN A PAST STUDY THAT SMOKERS WITH ELEVATED GENETIC RISKS ARE MORE LIKELY TO RESPOND TO NICOTINE-REPLACEMENT THERAPY. SO SHE SAYS DOCTORS MAY WANT TO TAKE A LOOK AT THE DNA OF SMOKERS WHO WANT TO QUIT, IN ORDER TO TAILOR PRECISE TREATMENTS BASED ON AN INDIVIDUAL PATIENTS RISKS.
(act) :23 o/c more precise
Another important concept thats brought forward by the
National Cancer Institute is called precision prevention.
In the field of medicine, we give all kinds of medical advice.
You should quit smoking. You should eat healthy. You should
exercise. So, were stepping into the era where the health
advice can be personalized and be more precise.
HER TEAM REPORTED ITS FINDINGS ONLINE IN THE JOURNAL eBioMedicine. IM JIM DRYDEN…