Expert Point of View: Smoking and Lack of Exercise Increase Risk of Some Cancers, but Moderate Alcohol Consumption Reduces Colon Cancer Risk


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George W. Sledge, Jr, MDAt a press conference where results of the study by Land and colleagues were released, George W. Sledge, Jr, MD, said, “This study highlights the importance of lifestyle factors. We need to think about encouraging women who engage in unhealthy behaviors that place them at risk for cancer to change their lifestyles. Quitting smoking is a women’s health issue [ie, not just a consideration for men], and exercising may prevent uterine carcinoma,” he noted.

“The outcomes related to alcohol are interesting, but we don’t have a final answer,” added Dr. Sledge, who is Ballve-Lantero Professor of Oncology at the Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, and Immediate Past President of ASCO. “It’s not clear why alcohol did not increase the risk of breast cancer in this study, and we learned that moderate alcohol intake lowered the risk of colon cancer. We still have more to learn, but this study confirms the importance of lifestyle choices.” ■

Financial Disclosure: Dr. Sledge reported no potential conflicts of interest.


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