ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Should Your Child Be Seeing a Chiropractor?
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
Indigo Ointment Benefits Psoriasis Patients
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Beware of Dog Bites
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Vitamin D Plus Calcium Guards Against Fractures
Cane Use May Cut Progression of Knee Osteoarthritis
Fruits and Veggies May Strengthen Bones
CANCER
Some Spices Cut Cancer Risk That Comes With Grilled Burgers
Yoga May Bring Calm to Breast Cancer Treatment
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
CAREGIVING
Babies Born in High Pollen Months at Wheezing Risk
Omega-3 Fatty Acid May Help 'Preemie' Girls' Brains
Are Hospital Mobile Phones Dialing Up Superbugs?
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
Mercury in Fish Linked to High Blood Pressure
Bad Marriages Harder on Women's Health
COSMETIC
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
DENTAL, ORAL
Scientists Find Gene for Tooth Enamel
Gummy Bears Join Cavity Fight
Gum Care Helps Control Type 2 Diabetes and Its Complications
DIABETES
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
Saliva Test Could Monitor Type 2 Diabetes
Insulin Resistance Tied to Peripheral Artery Disease
DIET, NUTRITION
To Feel Better, Low-Fat Diet May Be Best
The High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) Debate
Fruit Even Healthier Than Thought: Study Shows
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Preparing for a Chlorine Gas Disaster
Walkable Neighborhoods Keep the Pounds Off
Chemicals in Carpets, Non-Stick Pans Tied to Thyroid Disease
EYE CARE, VISION
Autistic Children Make Limited Eye Contact
Diabetic Hispanics Missing Out on Eye Exams
Music Can Help Restore Stroke Patients' Sight
FITNESS
Exercise 30 Minutes a Day? Who Knew!
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
Fall Cleanup Is a Prime Time for Accidents
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
GENERAL HEALTH
Internet Program Helps Problem Drinkers
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Years of Heavy Smoking Raises Heart Risks
Research Shows Genetic Activity of Antioxidants
Chinese Red Yeast Rice May Prevent Heart Attack
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Boosting Kids' Stroke IQ May Save Lives
Too Many Infants Short on Vitamin D
Should Your Child Be Seeing a Chiropractor?
MEN'S HEALTH
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
MENTAL HEALTH
Environmental Chemicals May Affect Male Reproduction
Mind Exercise Might Help Stroke Patients
Have a Goal in Life? You Might Live Longer
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Breast-Feeding May Protect a Woman's Heart
SENIORS
Rapid Weight Loss in Seniors Signals Higher Dementia Risk
Any Old Cane Won't Do
Friends, Not Grandkids, Key to Happy Retirement
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Heal Your LifeŽ Tips for Living Well
Air Pollution Slows Women's Marathon Times
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
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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