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Can a Genetic Test of Lung Cancer Risk Help Smokers Quit?

Posted Oct 01 2009 10:48pm

contact-people In a presentation at the 3rd Smoking Cessation Conference in Philadelphia, W. Jeffrey Allard, PhD, clinical affairs director of Synergenz Bioscience Ltd, told listeners that smokers who learn their personal risk of lung cancer through gene-based risk assessment are more likely to be motivated to quit their habit.

Allard went on to say that utilizing the Respiragene™ test, which uses genetic markers and clinical variables to tell smokers their risk of developing lung cancer compared with other smokers, can help counter a tendency of a smoker to underestimate their personal risk of smoking complications.

“Many current smokers suffer from ‘optimistic bias,’ the belief that while smoking is bad for them, the illness and early death that comes with it affects other smokers, not them,” said Allard.

Citing a review article on the topic that will appear in Postgraduate Medical Journal, Allard said, “But at the same time, when offered the chance to find out where they actually stand, studies also show that smokers are very interested in learning their own risk levels, and in many cases take this personal information as a trigger to prompt them to quit.”

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