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What You Need to Know about Preventing...

Lung Cancer

What’s the Evidence?

By far the most important thing you can do to prevent lung cancer is never smoke.

But the AICR expert report judged the evidence linking diets high in fruit to lower lung cancer risk to be probable. This is one of the reasons AICR recommends eating at least five portions a day of a variety of vegetables and fruits.

There is also convincing evidence that high-dose supplements of beta-carotene can actually increase lung cancer risk. This is one of the reasons AICR does not recommend relying on dietary supplements for cancer prevention. It is best to get your nutritional needs through diet alone.

(There is also convincing evidence that arsenic in drinking water also increases lung cancer risk. This is chiefly relevant to parts of the world without a regulated water supply.)

How Preventable is Lung Cancer?

Tobacco use causes approximately 90 to 95 percent of the over 200,000 lung cancer cases in the US every year. Not using tobacco in any form is the best protection against lung cancer possible.

But there’s even more you can do—AICR estimates that diets high in fruit could prevent thirty-six percent of those US lung cancer cases not caused by tobacco.


What the Panel’s Judgments Mean

strong, consistent and unlikely to change in the future

compelling but not quite strong or consistent enough to be "convincing"

Limited Evidence – Suggestive
too limited for a grade of "probable", but a general consistency in the data

Limited Evidence – No Conclusion
too inconsistent or insufficient for a definitive grade

Substantial Effect on Risk Unlikely
enough evidence to rule out a connection

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Ann Wrenshall Worley

Ann Wrenshall Worley

Assistant Director of Planned Giving

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