Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Scientists Spot Potent Tobacco Carcinogen

Acrolein in cooking oil may also spur cancer in nonsmokers, they say
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MONDAY, Oct. 2 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. researchers have pinpointed a key killer compound in cigarette smoke.

The chemical acrolein -- found in tobacco and also some cooking oils -- appears to be a prime cause of smoking-related lung cancer and some nonsmoking-related lung cancers as well, according to studies conducted with lung cancer cells.

"Cigarettes have a lot of carcinogens, some are more potent and more abundant than others," said lead researcher Moon-shong Tang, from the departments of environmental medicine, pathology and medicine at New York University.

Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women, killing more than 163,000 Americans each year, according to the American Cancer Society.

"Now we know the cause of smoking and nonsmoking lung cancer," Tang said.

It would be a mistake to do that," said Stephen S. Hecht, the Wallin Professor of Cancer Prevention at the Cancer Center and the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at the University of Minnesota and author of an accompanying commentary.

Hecht believes the notion of a "cancer-safe" cigarette is misguided.

Summarized by Copernic Summarizer


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