A new study, conducted by researchers at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, has found that salad intake and gardening substantially reduces the chances of developing lung cancer for smokers as well as nonsmokers.
"This is the first risk prediction model to examine the effects of diet and physical activity on the possibility of developing lung cancer," said Michele R Forman, PhD, lead author of the study and a professor in MD Anderson's department of epidemiology, as reported in Science Daily.
The study involved more than 3,800 participants where separate epidemiologic risk assessment models were developed for smokers as well as for those who have never smoked.
The study looked at salad consumption and gardening because, 'Salad is a marker for the consumption of many vegetables and gardening is an activity in which smokers and nonsmokers can participate'. "This finding is exciting because not only is it applicable to everyone, but it also may have a positive impact on the 15 per cent of non-smokers who develop lung cancer," says the scientist.
The other risk factors include exposure to secondhand smoke and dust, family history of cancer and the patient's history of respiratory disease and smoking.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among men and women, with more than 2,13,000 estimated new cases diagnosed each year according to the American Cancer Society. Smoking tobacco accounts for more than 80 per cent of the lung cancer cases.