“Stopping smoking is clearly the first thing to do for any smoker,” he said. Former smokers continue to have an excess of cancer risk for several years after quitting, he added. “So, if there is a good time to increase fruit and vegetable consumption, it is when you stop smoking. You can spare some calories and avoid the increase of weight which is common when you stop smoking, and also reduce your risk of upper digestive and respiratory tract cancers.”
Explore This IssueDecember 2006
The residual risk of developing cancer seen in former smokers might warrant otolaryngologists advising patients to eat a diet “replete with several servings of fresh fruits or vegetables during the course of the day,” said Dr. Mason. “It is reasonable for former smokers to incorporate whatever lifestyle changes they can make into their lives that are going to potentially reduce or eliminate that risk. And, there’s very little downside to recommending a diet enriched with fresh fruits and vegetables. Although we haven’t proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that that can be protective, there certainly are many outstanding epidemiological studies that suggest that is helpful.”
- American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts and Figures 2003. © 2003, the American Cancer Society; available online at www.cancer.org/downloads/STT/CAFF2003PWSecured.pdf . Accessed October 6, 2006.
- Pavia M, Pileggi C, et al. Association between fruit and vegetable consumption and oral cancer; a meta-analysis of observational studies. Am J Clin Nutr 2006 May; 83(5):1126–34.
- Gabriel HE, Crott JW, et al. Chronic cigarette smoking is associated with diminished folate status, altered folate form distribution, and increased genetic damage in the buccal mucosa of healthy adults. Am J Clin Nutr 2006 April; 83(4):835–41.
- Gabriel HE, Liu Z, et al. A comparison of carotenoids, retinoids and tocopherols in the serum and buccal mucosa of chronic cigarette smokers versus non-smokers. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2006 May;15(5):993–9.
For Further Reading
- Willett WC, Hu FB. Not the time to abandon the food frequency questionnaire: point. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2006 Oct;15:1757–8.Kristal AR, Potter JD. Not the time to abandon the food frequency questionnaire: counterpoint. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2006 Oct;15:1759–60.
©2006 The Triological Society