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Thursday, April 9, 2009

HHS HealthBeat (April 09, 2009)

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From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

What cancer does smoking cause? Lung cancer is one clear answer. And some folks add others, such as cancers of the throat and the esophagus.

But a researcher thinks this may underestimate the impact of cancer. Bruce Leistikow of the University of California, Davis, bases that on a review of data on men living in Massachusetts from 1979 to 2003. He used lung cancer as a benchmark:

[Bruce Leistikow speaks] "Lung cancer rates, and the death rate from all other cancer moved together like Siamese twins would move together – indicating that those changes had the same source."

He suspects smoking caused almost three quarters of all male cancer deaths in Massachusetts. That’s about twice what researchers thought.

The study in the journal BMC Cancer was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: April, 09 2009