ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Massage Therapy Helps Those With Advanced Cancer
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
New Insights Show Ginseng Fights Inflammation
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
Postmenopausal Women With Breast Cancer Face Joint Issues
CANCER
Vitamin E, Selenium and Soy Won't Prevent Prostate Cancer
No Verdict Yet on Grape Seed Extract vs. Breast Cancer
Hypnosis Cuts Hot Flashes for Breast Cancer Survivors
CAREGIVING
Hispanic Children More Likely to Have Hearing Loss
Many Alzheimer's Caregivers Admit to Abusive Behavior
Hospital Practices Influence Which Moms Will Breast-Feed
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Secondhand Smoke Quickly Affects Blood Vessels
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
COSMETIC
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
Holistic Dentistry-My View
Gum Care Helps Control Type 2 Diabetes and Its Complications
DIABETES
Fructose-Sweetened Drinks Up Metabolic Syndrome Risk
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
Saliva Test Could Monitor Type 2 Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Fish Oil's Benefits Remain Elusive
Olive Oil May Be Key to Mediterranean Diet's Benefits
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Exposure to 9/11 Fumes Tied to Chronic Headaches
Most Mt. Everest Deaths Occur Near Summit During Descent
Gene Mutation May Cause Some Cases of Seasonal Affective Disorder
EYE CARE, VISION
Contact Lens Cases Often Contaminated
Stem Cells Repair Damaged Corneas in Mice
Action-Filled Video Games Boost Adult Vision
FITNESS
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Yoga Can Ease Lower Back Pain
Exercise Guards White Blood Cells Against Aging
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
GENERAL HEALTH
Research Confirms How Valuable A Healthy Lifestyle Can Be
Can a Bad Boss Make You Sick?
Any Old Cane Won't Do
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Whole Grains Lower Risk of Heart Failure
Coffee Is Generally Heart-Friendly
Arteries Age Twice as Fast in Smokers
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Health Tip: Back Pain in Children
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Coconut Oil May Help Fight Childhood Pneumonia
MEN'S HEALTH
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
Countdown to Hair Loss
MENTAL HEALTH
Fear Response May Stem From Protein in Brain
Brain Scans Show How Humans 'Hear' Emotion
Have a Goal in Life? You Might Live Longer
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
SENIORS
15-Point Test Gauges Alzheimer's Risk
Protein Deposits May Show Up Before Memory Problems Occur, Study Says
Mediterranean Diet Plus Exercise Lowers Alzheimer's Risk
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Acupuncture May Help Relieve Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Air Pollution Slows Women's Marathon Times
Natural Childbirth Moms More Attuned to Babies' Cry
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Smoking Exposure Now Linked to Colon, Breast Cancers

(HealthDay News) -- Add colorectal cancer to the list of malignancies caused by smoking, with a new study strengthening the link between the two.

And other studies are providing more bad news for people who haven't managed to quit: Two papers published in the December issue of Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a themed issue on tobacco, strengthen the case for the dangers of secondhand smoke for people exposed to fumes as children and as adults.

Inhaling those secondhand fumes may raise a woman's odds for breast cancer or a child's lifetime risk for lung malignancies, the studies found.

All of the findings, while grim, could be useful in the war against smoking, experts say.

"With the FDA [U.S. Food and Drug Administration], we're hoping this will be a significant tool to controlling tobacco, although it could get bogged down in so many different ways," said Dr. Peter Shields, deputy director of the Georgetown University Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and senior editor of the journal in which these papers appeared. "The FDA is going to have to make a lot of tough decisions about how to regulate tobacco, and the more science they have will help them."

Is this latest round of revelations going to change current screening recommendations? Probably not, at least not yet, Shields added.

One study found that long-term smokers have a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer, a finding that factored into the recent decision by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) to assert that there is "sufficient" evidence to link the two, up from its previous "limited" evidence.

"It took a long time to figure this out because the relationship [between smoking and colorectal cancer] is not as strong [as for some other cancers]," said Dr. Michael Thun, senior author of the study and vice president emeritus of epidemiology and surveillance research at the American Cancer Society. "The question was, is the association we're seeing really caused by smoking?"

The researchers managed to adjust for other colorectal cancer risk factors, such as not getting screened, obesity, physical activity and eating a lot of red or processed meats. The issue is tricky because people who smoke are already more likely to engage in these types of behavior.

"When they took all of those other things out, smoking was still a small, elevated risk," said Dr. Michael John Hall, director of the gastrointestinal risk assessment program at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia.

"We already know that smoking is bad. That doesn't change. A positive thing that comes out of this is that if you can stop smoking earlier, you eliminate your risk later on, but the more you smoke, the risk is higher."

This large prospective study, which followed almost 200,000 people over 13 years, found that current smokers had a 27 percent increased risk of colorectal cancer and former smokers a 23 percent increased risk compared with people who had never smoked.

People who had smoked for at least half a century had the highest risk -- 38 percent higher than never smokers -- of developing colorectal cancer

The good news is that people who tossed their cigarettes before the age of 40 or who had not smoked for 31 or more years had no increased risk.

Two other studies focused on the risk of secondhand smoke, or passive smoking. In one, children exposed to secondhand smoke had a higher risk of developing lung cancer as adults, researchers from institutions including the U.S. National Cancer Institute found. In another, California researchers found that adult non-smoking women who had spent long periods of time in smoking environments upped their odds of developing postmenopausal breast cancer.

The breast cancer findings were seen mostly in postmenopausal women, with a 17 percent higher risk for those who had had low exposure, a 19 percent increased risk for those with medium exposure and a 26 percent increased risk for those who had high long-term exposure over their lifetime.

Adult exposure, such as spending time in smoking lounges where others were smoking, carried the most risk, with childhood exposure appearing negligible.

For children exposed to smokers, the odds of developing lung cancer was notably higher among individuals with a specific mutation on the MBL2 gene, the other study found.

Passive smoking during early life more than doubled the risk of lung cancer among people who had never smoked, the researchers found. They noted that the risk from secondhand smoke was even higher than that noted in the U.S. Surgeon General's report. The risk was 2.5 times higher among those with this genetic signature.

In another study, people who smoked cigarettes and drank alcohol after a diagnosis of head and neck cancer had a worse prognosis than those who abstained from these habits, according to researchers at Yale University School of Medicine and Yale's School of Public Health, among others.

Previous research had shown that smoking and drinking alcohol before a diagnosis meant the patient was more likely to die from the cancer.

With the new classification on smoking causing colorectal cancer, 17 cancers are now attributed to smoking.

SOURCES: Michael J. Thun, M.D., vice president emeritus, epidemiology and surveillance research, American Cancer Society; Michael John Hall, M.D., director, gastrointestinal risk assessment program, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia; Peter Shields, M.D., deputy director, Georgetown University Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Washington, D.C.; December 2009 Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention