Saturday, September 16, 2017

Diet and lifestyle play a major role in colorectal cancer

CANCER DIGEST – Sept. 16, 2017 – Nearly half of all colorectal cancer can be prevented with exercise and dietary changes, research shows, and a new study confirms that exercise and whole grains lower the risk while alcohol, red meat, processed meats and obesity increase the risk.

The new study by the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) and the World Cancer Research Fund confirms earlier research. Led by Dr. Edward Giovannucci, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health the study was published in the AICR’s own newsletter. It analyzed data from 99 previous studies that involved a total of 29 million people, including more than 250,000 diagnosed with colorectal cancer.

The AICR's metanalysis showed that eating whole grains reduces colorectal risk, while hot dogs, bacon and other processed meats increased risk when eaten on a regular basis.

"Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers, yet this report demonstrates there is a lot people can do to dramatically lower their risk," said Giovannucci in a press release. "The findings from this comprehensive report are robust and clear: Diet and lifestyle have a major role in colorectal cancer."

The report also showed that eating high amounts (above 500 grams cooked weight a week) of red meat , such as beef or pork, being overweight or obese, and consuming two or more daily alcoholic drinks (30 grams of alcohol), such as wine or beer, increased the risk of colorectal cancer.

The data also showed that eating approximately three servings (90 grams) of whole grains daily reduces the risk of colorectal cancer by 17 percent.

For physical activity and the consumption of fish, citrus fruits, strawberries and other non-starchy vegetables and fruit, the cancer risk was less clear. Data showed a lower risk of colorectal cancer associated with fish and foods containing vitamin C, but for non-starchy food it only showed a higher risk for people who consumed less than a cup of these per day. Exercise showed a lower risk of colon cancer but not rectal cancer.

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