Health Buzz: Study Suggests Green Tea Protects Against Lung Cancer

Gene tests help breast cancer patients make chemo decision; can you be smoke free in 30 days?

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Study Suggests Green Tea Protects Lungs Against Cancer

A cup of green tea a day might reduce your chances of developing lung cancer—even if you're a smoker, HealthDay reports. Findings from a new unpublished study comparing the diet and lifestyles of 170 lung cancer patients with those of 340 healthy participants showed that among both smokers and nonsmokers, those who didn't drink tea had five times the risk of developing lung cancer, compared with those who drank a cup of green tea daily. Looking at smokers only, the effect was even more pronounced. Those who didn't drink tea had almost 13 times the risk of those who did so daily. But Norman Edelman, chief medical officer of the American Lung Association, tells HealthDay that smokers should not use green tea—a strong antioxidant—as an excuse for continuing the habit. Researchers also analyzed how participants' genes affected their lung cancer risk.

[Read No Firm Evidence Green Tea Helps Prevent Cancer and Turn Your Kitchen Into a Clinic.]

Skip the Chemotherapy? Gene Tests Help Breast Cancer Patients Make That Decision

Ask any woman with breast cancer if she'll do all that it takes to prevent a recurrence, and chances are she'll say, "Of course!" Yet she probably wouldn't choose to have chemotherapy—and the hair loss, nausea, fatigue, and potentially serious medical complications that come with it—if told that it probably wouldn't do much to lower an already low risk of relapse.

Turns out, a genetic test called Oncotype DX that predicts a woman's chances of recurrence is, indeed, affecting doctors' and patients' decisions when it comes to chemotherapy, according to a study published Monday in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. About one third of the time, oncologists in the study changed their treatment recommendations after seeing the test result, and about one quarter of the patients chose not to have unnecessary chemotherapy, U.S. News's Deborah Kotz reports.

The test, which looks at 21 genes involved in determining the risk of recurrence, is most useful for those with stage 1 or 2 tumors that are small, respond to estrogen, and haven't spread to the lymph nodes; patients with these tumors who take an antiestrogen drug like tamoxifen (which is separate from chemotherapy) typically have a 15 percent chance of recurrence after 10 years. Read more.

[Read Breast Cancer: One Woman's Tough Treatment Decisions and Why 1 in 4 Early-Stage Breast Cancer Patients Still Opts for Mastectomies.]

Is It Possible to Be Smoke Free in 30 Days?

By now, it's almost a cliché to reiterate that smoking is the chief cause of preventable death in the United States. Yet approximately 46 million Americans are still lighting up, according to the latest estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

With New Year's resolutions still fresh in people's minds, U.S. News's Lindsay Lyon spoke to clinical psychologist Daniel Seidman, director of smoking cessation services at Columbia University Medical Center, about his new book, Smoke-Free in 30 Days: The Pain-Free, Permanent Way to Quit (Fireside Trade Paperback Original). In it, Seidman draws on his 20-plus years of experience with thousands of patients and walks people through the quitting process—including how to prepare for the "quit day" and how to maintain their success. Read more.

[Read 12 Reasons to Really Quit Smoking and On Smokeout Day, What We Know About How to Quit.]

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