Dr Paul Brennan and his team from International Agency for Cancer Research scientists (IACR) have reported in the Lancet that eating cabbages reduces the incidence of lung cancer.
The study was conducted in 2,141 patients with lung cancer and 2,168 healthy individuals from Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Romania, Russia and Hungary, where cruciferous vegetables are a normal part of the diet. The study has found that eating cabbage reduced the incidence of lung cancer in people who have inactived genes of GSTM1 and GSTT1 and the study results are not correlated to smoking. The two genes GSTM1 and GSTT1 acts as natural detoxifier of reduces the toxic effects. These genes produce enzymes which eliminate the isothiocyanates in the blood and clean the body.
Vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli and sprouts are rich in chemicals called isothiocyanates, which strongly protect against lung cancer, but the link between lung cancer and cruciferous vegetables is not still clear.
Eating cabbage has not found protecting in people who had both the GSTM1 and GSTT1 gene. In people with inactive form of GSTM1 gene having an active diet of cabbage was found to have a protective effect of 33% against lung cancer incidence. In people with inactive form of GSTT1 gene having an active diet of cabbage was found to have a protective effect of 50% against lung cancer incidence. People with both the genes inactive had a protective effect of 72%.
Smoking is not related to the presence of genes or its incidence reduced due to inactive form of these genes in smokers. Smokers are highly sensitive to incidence of lung cancer and not correlated to incidence of genes.
Dr Paul Brennan, one of the scientists who carried out the study, said: These data provide strong evidence for a substantial protective effect of cruciferous vegetables on lung cancer and he said that we don't know if the same pattern would be seen when comparing people who ate a moderate amount to none, as opposed to a high amount to a medium amount. Professor added, 'The risk a regular smoker will getting lung cancer is 20 times that of a non-smoker. So even if eating these vegetables cut that risk by half, smokers would still be at a much higher risk.'
Surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy may be used separately, or together, to treat cancer of the lung. Surgery is the primary therapy (a lobe or part of the lung is removed). Radiotherapy is used occasionally for a long term control of disease. Treatment should be decided by taking into consideration a number of factors including your general health, the type and size of the tumor, what it looks like under the microscope and whether it has spread beyond the lung.