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Oct 30, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- LUNG CANCER SCREENING HELPS SMOKERS QUIT

A new lung cancer screening may provide smokers with the motivation to finally quit. Fourteen percent of smokers in a Mayo Clinic study stopped smoking after undergoing lung cancer screening with low-dose computerized tomography scan. "That quit rate is double what we would expect to see in a community sample of smokers," said clinical psychologist Matthew Clark. He noted none of the 1,475 participants in the study received counseling or were encouraged to quit. The study also found individuals with poor lung function were most likely to quit smoking after being screened. These findings highlight screenings as a valuable tool for health practitioners in the struggle against cigarette addiction.


Premature infants fed breast milk with added nutrients grow faster than those fed special nutritional formulas, an international study finds. "Definitely, appropriately fortified breast milk is the feeding of choice for these premature, low-birth-weight babies," said nutritionist Deborah O'Connor of the University of Toronto. Among 463 infants weighing less than 4 pounds at birth, those fed nutritionally enriched breast milk not only grew faster, but also showed signs of better visual acuity.


The mythological fruit of the dead soon could be used to combat skin cancer. A study at the University of Wisconsin finds powerful antioxidants in pomegranate fruit extract help prevent the development of skin tumors in mice. The antioxidants, called polyphenols and anthocyanidins, give the fruit its rich dark red hue. In the study, pomegranate extract was applied topically to mice exposed to a cancer-promoting agent. Without the benefit of pomegranate extract, all mice developed tumors at 16 weeks, whereas with pomegranate extract only 30 percent of the mice exhibited tumors at that point. "For the first time, we have clear evidence that pomegranate extract possesses anti-skin-tumor-promoting effects," said lead author Dr. Farrukh Afaq.


Researchers say to get school districts to offer breakfast for students parents must speak up. Although evidence shows starting the day with a healthy breakfast helps children learn and lowers obesity rates, schools may be slow to adopt breakfast programs. A recent Pennsylvania State University study of schools in Pennsylvania finds that while teachers and school administrators take their cue from parents, parents often are reluctant to weigh in on the matter. "Parents need to know that they will be listened to and can play a bigger role in obtaining in-school breakfasts for their children," said lead author Elaine McDonnell.


(EDITORS: For more information on SMOKERS contact Shelly Plutowski at (507) 284-5005 or For PREMATURE contact Jessica Whiteside (416) 978-5948 or For POMEGRANATE contact Aimee Frank at (202) 955-6222 or For SCHOOL BREAKFASTS contact Barbara Hale at (814) 865-9481 or

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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