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Breast Cancer Health Center

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Veggies, Exercise May Cut Cancer Risk

Researchers Say Exercise Reduces Breast Cancer Risk; Eating Fruits and Veggies Cuts Lung Cancer Risk

More Exercise May Be Better continued...

Marji McCullough, ScD, RD, of the American Cancer Society, tells WebMD that the findings are consistent with the group's recommendation to engage in physical activity as a means of keeping breast cancer risk down.

But she takes issue with the finding that more is not better.

Women should work out 30 minutes a day, five times a week, to reap the greatest benefits, McCullough says.

"And even more, like 45 minutes a day, and vigorous activities like running, will reduce breast cancer risk even further," McCullough says.

Fruits, Veggies Linked to Lower Lung Cancer Risk

For the lung cancer study, Tram K. Lam, PhD, of the National Cancer Institute, and colleagues analyzed data on 2,120 people without lung cancer and 201 people with lung cancer.

Participants filled out a 58-item questionnaire that asked about their eating habits over the past year.

Compared with people who didn't eat any isothiocyanate-rich foods in an average week, those who consumed five or more servings were 61% less likely to have lung cancer, Lam tells WebMD.

People who ate quercetin-rich foods at least four times a week, on average, were 51% less likely to have lung cancer than those who ate none.

Eating fruits and veggies more than four or five times a week appeared to cut the risk of lung cancer by 42%.

The analysis took into account some factors that can affect lung cancer risk, including weight, alcohol consumption, and smoking history.

Nevertheless, Lam stresses that the study does not prove cause and effect. Further research is needed before any dietary recommendations can be made, she says.

McCullough agrees. She notes that people don't always perfectly recall their diets or how much they used to smoke.

While the link to lung cancer needs more study, a diet rich in fruits and veggies has been shown to lower the risk of stomach, colon, and bladder cancer, McCullough says.

The American Cancer Society recommends eating a variety of healthy foods, especially plant-based foods. That includes consuming at least five daily servings of various fruits and veggies.

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